The Teachers Registration Board can immediately suspend the registration of a teacher charged with serious criminal offences, including rape, murder and drug dealing, after legislation passed through parliament earlier this year came into effect today.
The Marshall Liberal Government introduced legislation in September this year to amend the Teacher Registration and Standards Act 2004.
The new law allows the Board to immediately suspend the registration of a teacher, or vary the conditions of a teacher’s registration, if they are charged with a prescribed offence.
Previously, a teacher’s registration remained valid while any court proceedings and subsequent disciplinary inquiries are underway.
This meant that while a teacher charged with serious offences would be stood down from their current employment, they could have potentially sought employment in another school or as a private tutor.
Education Minister John Gardner said the move was crucial in ensuring the community has full confidence in the teacher registration process.
“Today we have closed a crucial loophole that upholds the integrity of the teachers’ register and ensures the confidence of the community in our teaching workforce,” said Minister Gardner.
“Our teachers work hard to improve the lives of students and contribute to a well-educated and engaged society, and they deserve the trust and respect of our community.
“The Government is committed to doing everything we can to ensure keep our children and young people safe at school.
“The community has an expectation that teachers registered in South Australia are not only competent educators, but are also fit and proper persons to have the care of children.
“This new law means that teachers facing such serious charges will not remain on the register while these matters are being finalised, and all members of the community can have full confidence in the teachers’ register.”