In response to the Royal Commission regarding institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, The Teacher Accreditation Act 2004 has been amended. From now on the New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA) will be making decisions about teacher accreditation at all levels, including the early childhood sector.
Existing Teacher Accreditation Authorities will continue to make these choices as they work with key stakeholders to build new methods.
The new requirement that addresses the recommendation from the Royal Commission is the introduction of an assessment of suitability to teach for initial and ongoing accreditation. It indicates all Australian teacher regulatory authorities will apply a consistent approach to child safety.
The Act also establishes a new category of accreditation for non-practising teachers, allowing individuals who engage in the broader education community outside of a school or early childhood institution to continue working in the field.
A NESA spokesperson said, "We will work with stakeholders to ensure that these teachers can maintain their accreditation by meeting contextually appropriate requirements".
The introduction of a public register of teachers further aligns NSW with other jurisdictions. The searchable register will only include teachers’ names, their NESA numbers and confirmation that they are actively accredited. Other changes include strengthening and streamlining teacher accreditation processes and reducing the administrative burden on teachers, principals, schools and school sectors.