More than 40 Queensland teachers had their registration suspended, cancelled or prohibited for a period, or were permanently excluded from the profession last year because of unacceptable behaviour, new data shows.
According to figures from the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT), in 2021 16 teachers had their registration suspended over a serious offence charge, and 17 over posing an unacceptable risk — 33 in total.
There were also 33 suspensions in 2020 and 29 in 2019, and overall there are 57 suspensions still ongoing.
Eight teachers were permanently excluded from teaching — the same number as during 2020, and up from five in 2019, while six had their registration cancelled last year — down from seven in 2020 and eight in 2019.
QCT director Deanne Fishburn said the overwhelming majority of Queensland teachers value and uphold high ethical and professional standards, but “even one teacher crossing a professional boundary is one too many”.
“Each year in Queensland, fewer than 0.05 per cent of teachers have their registration suspended, cancelled or prohibited for a period, or are permanently excluded from the profession, because of unacceptable behaviour,” she said.
“The safety and wellbeing of children is of the utmost importance to teachers and there is no place in the profession for anyone who crosses professional boundaries with a student.”
More than 60 complaints about teacher conduct
The data from QCT disciplinary outcomes and the results of Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) proceedings, showed there were seven suspended teachers awaiting the outcome of indecent treatment charges, and of those — three had charges laid in 2021.
Sixty-seven complaints were made about teacher professional conduct, resulting in suspensions issued for two matters.
There were four employer notifications made regarding teacher competence, with one of those resulting in a suspension.
Independent union supports teacher integrity, due process
Independent Education Union Queensland and Northern Territory branch secretary Terry Burke supported the process of maintaining professional integrity.
“Clearly those who are subject to investigation should have due process, but if at the end of that process they are found to merit suspension or removal from the register then those processes are appropriate,” he said.
“There’s clearly a higher reporting and accountability regime and that ensures that these matters are being brought to the attention to the college of teachers.”
Union argues state schools safest in the world
In a statement, Queensland Teachers’ Union vice president Leah Olsson paid tribute to the “hard working teachers who have kept schools operating during these unprecedented times of this pandemic”.
“As an organisation that advocates for teachers and school leaders, the QTU can confidently say statistically Queensland State Schools are among the safest and most professionally run schools in the world,” Ms Olsson said.
“The QTU believes in open and transparent investigations of any incident and thanks the overwhelming majority of great teachers who do the right thing and deliver for our communities day in and day out.”
Source: Thanks msn.com