The objective of the Teacher Registration (Northern Territory) Act (the Act) is to ensure that only persons who are fit and proper, appropriately qualified and competent to teach, are employed as teachers in the Northern Territory.
The objective is achieved by the establishment of the Teacher Registration Board of the Northern Territory (the Board) to register persons as teachers and to facilitate the continuing competence of teachers in the Territory.
Once registered, a teacher is eligible for continued registration if the Board is satisfied that he/she is a fit and proper person and competent to teach.
One of the functions of the Board is to deal with complaints about teachers, hold preliminary investigations and inquiries in relation to teachers and take disciplinary action under Part 6 of the Act.
The Board’s disciplinary proceedings are quite separate to those instigated by an employer.
Employers of teachers play an important role in bringing relevant matters involving teachers to the attention of the Board so the Board can ascertain whether investigation and further action is warranted.
Subsection 67A(1) of the Act provides that an employer of a ‘relevant person’ must notify the Board, in writing, if any of the following events occur:
‘Relevant person’ means:
‘Action against a teacher’ by an employer must be related to the serious misconduct or lack of fitness or competence of the teacher and may include:
The notice must be given to the Board within 28 days after the occurrence of the event.
The notice must specify full details of the event and the circumstances involved. Ideally there should be enough information provided to allow the Board to decide whether any of the following are warranted:
Ideally the notice should also specify the subsection of the Act under which the notice is being lodged:
Employers should be aware that sometimes more than one notice in relation to a teacher is necessary.
Failure to comply with section 67A of the Act may result in a penalty. The maximum penalty is 50 penalty units.
Upon receipt of an employer notification the Board will usually attempt to make contact with the teacher. Typically the teacher is provided with a copy of the notification and the opportunity to make submissions to the Board in relation to the matter.