21 Mar 2014

Teacher hearings open to public

10:21 pm on 21 March 2014

The Teachers Council has agreed to change its rules and open disciplinary hearings to the public.

The council has been considering the change since Parliament's Regulations Review Select Committee recommended it last year.

The council's disciplinary tribunal will also publish the identities of errant teachers unless there is a strong reason not to do so.

However, children under the age of 16 will never be identified, and the council reserves the right to hold hearings in private and to suppress details of the hearings.

Wellington lawyer Graeme Edgeler says suppression may be sought to protect victims, or if a person can easily be identified in a small school. He believes the media will now go to hearings to report on high-profile cases.