Strengthening Child Safety To Protect Our Students

The Andrews Labor Government will overhaul Victoria’s teacher registration system to ensure the Victorian Institute of Teaching considers child safety when assessing whether teachers are suitable to teach.

Minister for Education James Merlino today welcomed the report of an independent review into Victoria’s teacher regulator, which examined the management, operations and governance of the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT)

The Victorian Institute of Teaching plays a vital role in determining who can and can’t teach in schools, and ensuring teachers meet professional standards.

The Labor Government has reviewed all 34 recommendations from the review and work will begin to put changes into place to enhance the way the VIT functions, including making legislative changes.

The changes include:

  • Explicitly stating in the VIT’s governing legislation that the safety and wellbeing of children and young people must be considered when performing its regulatory functions
  • Reforming the VIT disciplinary system that deals with allegations of teacher misconduct or incompetence. This will include compulsory training for all disciplinary board members to ensure their roles and responsibilities
  • Improving its registration processes including migrating to online registration and renewal processes
  • Expanding its activities to include proactively educating teachers and the community about teacher quality
  • Better information sharing and greater alignment between teacher registrations and the Working with Children Check.

The review was commissioned following concerns that some decisions made by the VIT did not align with expectations from the community and has made recommendations that position the regulator to meet its future challenges.

The report and the Government response is available online here: www.education.vic.gov.au/about/department/Pages/vit.aspx

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“It became clear to me that there were too many gaps in the current system – we’re fixing that so parents can have confidence that only the most appropriate people are teaching their children.”

“These changes will ensure the Victorian Institute of Teaching can meet current and future community expectations and the challenges of a changing regulatory environment.”

“Child safety and well-being must be front of mind at all times – that’s why we’re taking action to overhaul our teaching registration system and put students first.”

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