Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia Annual Report 2022–23

About the Board

About the Board

As the teacher regulatory authority in Western Australia, the Board is responsible for registering teachers, including renewing teacher registration, and administering the teacher disciplinary and impairment review processes. We are also responsible for accrediting initial teacher education programs delivered by Western Australian higher education providers.

We are committed to ensuring that children in Western Australia continue to be safe in schools and reach their potential. This is achieved by ensuring the quality of the teacher workforce through the registration of teachers using independent and robust regulatory decision‑making, and maintaining an up‑to‑date register of teachers.

The Board was established in December 2012 under the Teacher Registration Act 2012 (WA).

We operate in accordance with the Teacher Registration Act and its subsidiary legislation: the Teacher Registration (General) Regulations 2012 (WA) and the Teacher Registration (Accreditation of Initial Teacher Education Programmes) Regulations 2012 (WA).

A quality and contemporary regulator of the Western Australian teaching profession that operates in the best interests of children.

Serving the public interest in Western Australia by ensuring that teachers are registered and initial teacher education programs are accredited in accordance with the Teacher Registration Act.

​​​​​Integrity: We act with integrity, responsibility and transparency.

Excellence: We set standards of excellence and strive to achieve them.

Service: We are responsive, efficient and effective.

Fairness and respect: We treat everyone fairly, with empathy and respect.

Our members are appointed by the Minister for Education and must include an Australian lawyer and at least 3 currently registered teachers.

At 30 June 2023, the Board members were:

  • Margaret Collins (Chairperson) – former Regional Executive Director, South Metropolitan Education Region, Department of Education
  • David Bean (Deputy Chairperson) – former Deputy Headmaster, Hale School; and Education Consultant
  • Emily Donders – Head of Learning Area, Humanities and Social Sciences, Bob Hawke College
  • Kate Offer – Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of School (Learning and Teaching), Law School, The University of Western Australia and Solicitor, Cullen Macleod Lawyers
  • Melanie Sutherland – Principal, Waggrakine Primary School
  • Julie Woodhouse – Principal, Wembley Primary School
  • Andrea Lewis – Teacher, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Queens Park.

There were 2 changes to our membership during 2022–23. Ron Dullard and Casey Bakunowicz completed their terms and David Bean and Andrea Lewis were appointed.

In 2022–23, we formally met 11 times and considered 32 items out of session.

Board members of the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia

About the Board - 2

Under the Teacher Registration Act we must establish at least one disciplinary committee and an impairment review committee. We may establish other committees to help us perform our functions.

We are supported by:

  • 2 disciplinary committees which consider complaints we refer to them
  • an impairment review committee which considers impairment matters we refer to them
  • an interim disciplinary order committee which has the authority to make an interim disciplinary order where there is the risk of imminent injury or harm to the physical or mental health of any person.

For information about the activities of these committees in 2022–23, refer to Disciplinary and impairment matters.

The Department of Education’s Teacher Registration directorate provides secretariat support to the Board which includes:

  • processing teacher registration applications and initial teacher education program accreditation applications for our consideration
  • assisting us to administer our disciplinary function
  • supporting our work on policy matters.

We have delegated certain powers such as granting teacher registration to the Director, Teacher Registration, who refers matters that require further examination to us.

Refer to the Department of Education’s annual report for financial statements and performance indicators related to the Teacher Registration directorate and the Board’s remuneration.

Our operations are funded by fees collected in accordance with the Teacher Registration Act and the Department of Treasury’s Costing and Pricing Government Services guidelines. During 2022–23, a consumer price index rate of 2% was applied to our fees, which was the first increase since 2018, effective from 1 July 2022.

Supporting the challenges of teacher supply

In response to teacher supply issues in Western Australia, partly associated with the impact of COVID‑19, we registered a higher number of teachers under Limited Registration. This includes pre‑service teachers in the final year of their degree, who were eligible to apply for the Department of Education’s pre‑service teacher employment pools.


Strengthening child safety

We continued to play a significant role in promoting and protecting children’s safety through our scheme of teacher registration. We worked with regulators, national authorities and other relevant agencies to ensure that only fit and proper teachers are registered to teach in Western Australia.

As the regulator of teaching in Western Australia, we have regard to the nationally developed ‘Best Practice Framework for Strengthening Child Safety and Wellbeing through the Regulation of Teachers’.


National partnerships

We continued to work with stakeholders on projects of national significance, including a focus on information exchange between teacher regulatory authorities. As outlined in the Chairperson’s report above, a national memorandum of understanding to support information exchange between regulatory authorities across Australia has been endorsed.


Automatic mutual recognition of occupational registrations

Teachers who hold teacher registration in other Australian states or territories or in New Zealand may apply for registration with the Board through mutual recognition. The Australian Government and state and territory governments have agreed to introduce a uniform scheme for the automatic mutual recognition of occupational registrations to facilitate automatic deemed registration.

A 5‑year exemption from the automatic deemed registration scheme was approved in June 2022, for the occupation of teaching in Western Australia. Applicants from other Australian states and territories and New Zealand may continue to apply for mutual recognition under current arrangements to be registered as teachers in Western Australia.


Policy framework

Led by a policy reference group, our Conditions of Registration policy, Feedback and Complaints Management policy and Professional Standards policy were reviewed and updated, following stakeholder engagement.

Teacher registration systems development

We completed work to replace our teacher registration database and successfully transitioned to the new database at the end of October 2022. The new database is designed to maintain a secure and efficient system to support teacher registration in Western Australia.


Review of the Teacher Registration Act

The Teacher Registration Amendment Bill 2022 was passed by the Western Australian Parliament and received royal assent on 1 March 2023. The Teacher Registration directorate is preparing for the commencement of the amended Teacher Registration Act by ensuring our policies, processes, forms, online systems and website are updated for implementation of the changes planned in late 2023.


Initial teacher education reform

​​​​​​​In September 2022, the Australian Government established a Teacher Education Expert Panel, led by Professor Mark Scott AO, to conduct a review and provide advice on reforms to:

  • strengthen initial teacher education (ITE) programs to deliver confident, effective, classroom‑ready graduates
  • strengthen the link between performance and funding of ITE programs
  • improve the quality of practical experience in teaching
  • improve postgraduate ITE programs to attract mid‑career entrants.

The Teacher Education Expert Panel released a discussion paper in March 2023, providing an overview of the key findings of the panel’s work done to date, opportunities for delivering on reform areas and questions for discussion. Any proposals arising from the recommendations of the final report for release in 2023–24 will be monitored. We will continue to engage with AITSL, Australian state and territory teacher regulatory authorities, ITE providers and other stakeholders about developments in the ITE space.


National Teacher Workforce Action Plan

The National Teacher Workforce Action Plan December 2022, approved by Australia’s Education Ministers, was developed to address the national issue of teacher workforce shortages. Actions have been identified across 5 priority areas:

  • improving teacher supply
  • strengthening ITE
  • keeping the teachers we have
  • elevating the profession
  • better understanding future teacher workforce needs.

We continued to collaborate with relevant stakeholders with respect to proposed actions, and particularly those that may have a bearing on our core functions of teacher registration and accreditation of ITE programs.