We are proposing three changes to Teaching Council processes.
The first change aims to streamline the disciplinary regime dealing with teacher conduct. There are two bodies in the disciplinary regime – the Complaints Assessment Committee and the Disciplinary Tribunal. The Disciplinary Tribunal is set up to deal with more serious misconduct matters but is currently dealing with a large number of matters that are not the most serious. Having matters considered by the Disciplinary Tribunal replicates processes of the Complaints Assessment Committee and draws out the time it takes to reach an outcome.
We want to enable the Complaints Assessment Committee to take more cases so that the Disciplinary Tribunal can focus on the most serious cases. We also want to remove the requirement for the Complaints Assessment Committee to reach agreement with the teacher and the initiator before it can impose a penalty.
The second change would be to explicitly state in the Education and Training Act 2020 (the Act) that the Teaching Council has the ability to prosecute breaches of teacher registration and certification requirements. The Council’s functions already involve upholding professional standards and the penalties for breaching registration and practising certificate requirements are in the Act. To avoid doubt, this change will make it clear that the Teaching Council is able to prosecute such breaches.
The third change clarifies that the Teaching Council must use its discretion, rather than relying on an objective test, when considering the recent teaching experience of professional leaders (and other registered teachers) in tertiary settings for the purposes of renewing their practising certificates.
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