Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia Annual Report 2020–21

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. The Board is also responsible for accrediting initial teacher education programs delivered by Western Australian higher education providers.

The Board maintains an up-to-date register of teachers, and has developed and published professional standards for teachers, accreditation standards for initial teacher education programs and a professional learning activities policy.

In performing its role, the Board’s paramount consideration is the best interests of children.

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

The Board operates 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.

The Board is appointed by the Minister for Education and Training and must include an Australian lawyer and at least three currently registered teachers.

At 30 June 2021, the Board members were:

  • Margaret Collins (Chairperson) – former Regional Executive Director, South Metropolitan Education Region, Department of Education
  • Ron Dullard AO (Deputy Chairperson) – former Director, Catholic Education Western Australia
  • Casey Bakunowicz – Consultant, Aboriginal Education, Catholic Education Western Australia
  • Nicole Brown – Dean of Students (PK-6), Peter Moyes Anglican Community School
  • Emily Donders – Assistant Head of Learning, Humanities and Social Sciences, Rossmoyne Senior High School
  • Kate Offer – Senior Lecturer, School of Law, The University of Western Australia
  • Julie Woodhouse – Principal, Butler Primary School.

There were two changes to the Board’s membership during the reporting period. Jeremy Bruse and Peter Collins completed their terms, and Emily Donders and Casey Bakunowicz were appointed to the Board.

In 2020–21, the Board formally met 11 times and considered 28 items out of session.

Photograph showing the members of the board.


About the Board - 2

The Teacher Registration Act requires the Board to establish at least one disciplinary committee and an impairment review committee. The Board may establish other committees to assist it to perform its functions.

The Board is supported by:

  • two disciplinary committees which consider complaints referred by the Board
  • an impairment review committee which considers impairment matters referred by the Board
  • 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
    • a registered teacher has been charged with a sexual offence involving a child.

See Disciplinary and impairment matters for further information about the activities of these committees in 2020–21.

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 consideration by the Board

assisting the Board to administer its disciplinary function

supporting the work of the Board on policy matters.

The Board has delegated certain powers such as granting teacher registration to the Director, Teacher Registration, who refers matters that require further examination to the Board.

Financial statements and performance information related to the Teacher Registration directorate and the Board’s remuneration are provided in the Department of Education’s annual report.

The operations of the Board 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 the reporting period there were no changes to the Board’s fee schedule.

Online digital solutions

The Board continued to improve its online services for teachers and applicants by moving the last paper-based application forms to its secure online environment.

The online services experience provides improved access and application processing times for teachers and applicants.


Initial teacher education accreditation

The Board continued to engage with other Australian teacher regulatory authorities and the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership to implement the ongoing national reforms of the scheme of accreditation of initial teacher education.

Reforms include the revision of the national accreditation guidelines, the collection of provider data for annual reporting purposes and the introduction of an improved final teaching performance assessment that all pre-service teachers must complete within Western Australian programs.


Strengthening child safety

The Board plays a significant role in promoting and protecting children’s safety through its scheme of teacher registration. The Board continued to work with regulators, national authorities and other relevant agencies to ensure the professionalism, quality and propriety of teachers.

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


Office relocation

The Teacher Registration directorate relocated to the Department of Education’s East Perth office in October 2020. This provided the Board with improved access to established corporate services, information systems and technology support, while maintaining its independence and ensuring the secure administration of teacher registration records and information.


National partnerships

The Board continues to work with stakeholders on projects of national significance, including:

  • consistent decision-making in the progression of teachers from Provisional to Full Registration
  • strengthening child safety
  • early childhood teacher registration
  • English language competency
  • vocational education and training (VET) in schools.
Registration renewal application peak

There are cyclical peaks in the renewal of Full Registration that arise approximately every three and a half years for an 18-month period. This is a legacy of the way teacher registration was introduced in Western Australia.

The Board will focus on ensuring its capacity to efficiently process the increased volume of renewal applications received since September 2020. It is expected that approximately 30,000 renewal applications will have been assessed by March 2022.


Teacher registration systems development

The Board’s core ICT systems will be replaced and a transition to a new operating environment is expected by January 2022. Minimal impact on existing teachers and applicants is expected throughout the upgrade, with communications planned closer to implementation of the new system.


Initial teacher education reform

In April 2021, the Federal Minister for Education launched the Quality Initial Teacher Education Review. The Board will monitor the review and continue to engage with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, state and territory teacher regulatory authorities, initial teacher education providers and other stakeholders with respect to ongoing and proposed developments in the initial teacher education space.


Review of the Teacher Registration Act

Following a review of the Teacher Registration Act tabled in Parliament in September 2018, an amending Bill is expected to be introduced in the Western Australian Parliament in the second half of 2021. The Board, following consultation with its stakeholders, will amend policies and processes once amendments to the Act are made.


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. In August 2020, the Commonwealth Treasurer announced that the Australian and state and territory governments had agreed to introduce a uniform scheme for the Automatic Mutual Recognition (AMR) of occupational registrations including teaching.

In December 2020, an Intergovernmental Agreement on AMR was signed and relevant amendments to the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth) were passed in June 2021.

Our State Government is responsible for implementing AMR arrangements. The Board will continue to closely monitor implementation to ensure there is no risk to the safe, competent and professional practise of teaching in Western Australian educational venues.