The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has deemed a teacher’s behaviour to be serious misconduct, after it was found that he had assaulted his children.

The teacher applied to get his practising certificate renewed. This involved a vetting process by the Teaching Council, during which two allegations of assault against his children came to light.

The first incident involved the teacher hitting his child on the hand with a broom handle. In the second incident, the teacher was found to have hit two of his children on the legs with a shoe.

The police investigated both of these incidents, but discovered that the children had not sustained injury. The police gave him a verbal warning for both instances of assault.

The matter went for investigation in front of the Conduct Assessment Committee. The teacher had sought counselling, and fixed a medical issue which his doctor stated may have contributed to the conduct of the teacher. These were mitigating factors in the Tribunal’s eyes, as it showed that the teacher had actively taken steps to reform his conduct.

The Tribunal decided that the actions of the teacher constituted serious misconduct, and he was ordered to provide a copy of the Tribunal’s decision to any current or prospective employers, was allowed to continue practicing under guidance of a buddy/support person for 12 months, and was ordered to pay costs of over $1800.

If there is confusion around the professional expectations of an employee in the workplace, it pays to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.


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Alan Knowsley & Matthew Binnie

Litigation Team