18 May 2013

Prospective teachers face new checks in Sth Australia

7:21 am on 18 May 2013

The state government in South Australia is to introduce tighter screening measures for people wanting to work in schools.

Education Minister Jennifer Rankine said on Friday that people who have committed any of a wide range of offences will automatically be excluded from becoming teachers, while others may be banned on other grounds.

AAP reports currently people wanting to become a teacher had a criminal history check but it is up to the discretion of the Teachers Registration Board whether they will be registered.

"There are no offences currently that are prescribed as excluding someone from becoming a teacher," Ms Rankine said.

A "prescribed offences list" is to be established, covering offences which would exclude people from teaching. Another list will presume exclusion, but appeals would be permitted.

Before beginning their studies, prospective teachers would have to undergo a child protection check as well as a criminal history check.

Anyone who has been investigated by the Department of Social Inclusion or Families SA could now be prevented from teaching.

Law Society president John White told ABC Radio the move could mean some teaching applicants might be banned from study even though they did not have a criminal conviction.

"It raises quite clear problems of civil rights," he said.