Long time readers of Whaleoil will know my relentless exposure and mocking of the automatic name suppression rules surrounding teachers misconduct complaints.
Especially in the even when such suppression isn’t wanted by the victims and their parents. ¬†They too see that a career with a secret black mark on it isn’t going to necessarily protect future victims.
And have argued many times that if you are going to break the boundaries of trust, especially when it has a sexual dimension, why would anyone want to protect your future in the profession of teaching?
You fiddle with our kids, you’re toast.
Well, that’s not how it used to work, but come July 1, the new rules provide the framework for some rationalisation in this area
Mathew Backhouse expands on an APNZ piece
Teachers accused of misconduct can be named and disciplinary tribunal hearings will be open to the public under new Teachers Council rules.
The move comes after heavy criticism of the disciplinary tribunal’s closed hearings, particularly around the blanket name suppression rules.
Last year, Parliament’s regulations review committee found the tribunal’s name suppression practice was not in line with the Education Act, which clearly intended proceedings to be generally open to the public.
Teachers Council director Peter Lind today announced the changes to the disciplinary tribunal rules would come into effect from July 1.
There doesn’t appear to be an allowance for historical disclosure if the victims agree for suppression to be lifted, but at least this indicates a start of a more just reaction to deal with the predators that have made it in among our children.
Dr Lind said to protect young victims, the tribunal chair could still use discretion to close parts of the proceedings, order name suppression, or both.
Children aged under 16 will not be able to be named under the new rules.
“Open proceedings will help assure the public and the teaching profession that our disciplinary processes are rigorous and the decisions well-reasoned and robust,” Dr Lind said.
“We do make offending teachers accountable for their actions and the tribunal’s work helps make schools and early childhood learning centres safer for everyone’s children.
“Making the disciplinary proceedings more transparent will mean people can see that happening more easily.”
This blog will continue the pressure to ensure that the worst of the worst are ejected from the teaching profession rather than enjoy the protection and anonymity that they currently enjoy.
In a world where we are more concerned with the criminals rights rather than the lives of those they have destroyed, at least this appears to be a step in the right direction to address some of this imbalance.