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Teachers’ Council must lift its game

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

24 October 2006

Teachers’Council must lift its game

The Teachers’ Council must lift its game to meet the expectations of parents and the standards of the profession, says National Party Education spokesman Bill English.

His comments follow revelations that teachers with suspect passes continue to be registered, including one teacher who sexually abused his 15-year-old niece, describing touching her as ‘somewhat addictive’, another with three convictions for assault and another with a conviction for importing drugs.

Questioned today in Parliament, Education Minister Steve Maharey said privacy laws protect the teachers from being identified publicly.

Mr English says if parents can’t be told of teachers’ backgrounds, they have to rely on the profession’s own standards.

“At the moment decisions made by the Teachers’Council do not reflect the expectations of parents. Nor do they reflect the professional standards of the vast majority of teachers.

“It is not good enough for the council to say it has a fair and robust process for registering these teachers when the result of that process is that some children are in the care of teachers who could be a threat to their welfare.

“The council needs to lift its standards so that parents can have confidence in the professionalism and character of the person at the front of the classroom every time,” says Mr English.


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