Kicking and screaming all the way to transparency

The Teacher’s Council has announced that they will review their rules regarding name suppression but not before thy have a whinge about it all.

Dodgy teachers will be named and shamed after a parliamentary select committee prompted the Teachers Council to review suppression rules.

The decision to review the rules around disciplinary tribunal meetings and how they are reported was made at a Teachers Council meeting yesterday.

Director Peter Lind said there would still be some case-by-case sensitivity around keeping some decisions private.

At present, the disciplinary tribunal writes a decision that is published on the Teachers Council website in an anonymous form. That would be reviewed, and also made public, Dr Lind said. 

Keep the details of the victims private by all means, but out the dodgy ratbag teachers immediately so that other child victims can come forward, and remove suspicion from innocent teachers.

The Teachers Council’s automatic name suppression of any school staff subject to complaints was criticised by MPs and considered to fall outside the Education Act’s intentions. As part of the review, the Education Act would also be tightened.

Dr Lind said the review of the Teachers Council was before the minister and awaiting a Cabinet decision. In the meantime, the council, which is legally able to change its own rules, would go ahead with the review, allowing for greater transparency and openness.

Dr Lind said the fine line was to ensure witnesses and their parents were still prepared to come forward and make statements.

“We need to find that balance between getting witness statements and having the flexibility to hold some cases in private when needed.”

Post Primary Teachers’ Association president Angela Roberts said she had no sympathy for hiding behind name suppression, but pointed out that was not always the case.

“The council needs to be able to balance the paramount need to protect children, but still enable teachers that are found innocent to also be protected.”

Don’t you love the contortions by the Teachers’ Council and the PPTA. They want name suppression to remain to protect teachers in some instances…but they also lobby for compulsory teacher registration because that will weed out the ratbags. If registration was working these ratbags wouldn’t even be teachers.

The primary thoughts should be protection of victims but allowing transparency in the process so that other victims can come forward. The easiest way to do that is protect and suppress details of victims and publicise the name of the teacher.

It is a logic fail to suggest name suppression protects the innocent…this is not a court of law it is the Teacher’s Council, they are dealing with ratbags who ahve already been before the courts and had their guilt or innocence established.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.