It is an honour to have been appointed Board Chairperson in March this year and I am very pleased to be presenting my first Chairperson’s report. In doing so, I acknowledge the service of my predecessor, Mrs Audrey Jackson AM, who chaired the Board from its establishment in 2012. Mrs Jackson is highly esteemed by all Board members who served with her, as well as by the secretariat and stakeholders. I also acknowledge the work of the other outgoing members – Mr Ian Curlewis, Mr Greg Robson and Ms Jenny Dougan – for the significant contributions each has made in establishing the Board as an effective regulator.
I take this opportunity to welcome Ms Kate Offer and Ms Julie Woodhouse to their new roles on the Board, and I welcome Mrs Tracey Gray, Head of Campus at St Stephens School, who was recently appointed by the Minister for Education and Training following the resignation of Mr Robson. Mrs Gray will commence her term on 2 July 2018.
As I settle into this role, it is apparent that we are in a period of reform across the education portfolio with a number of review projects which have the potential to impact significantly the Board’s work. This includes reviews of regulatory practice locally with a statutory review of the Teacher Registration Act 2012 and nationally with the national review of teacher registration and further reforms proposed for the regulation of initial teacher education. Although the outcomes of these reviews are yet to be fully formulated, the Board is taking this opportunity to reflect on key aspects of its practice and has provided submissions to these important bodies of work.
With the best interests of children foremost in the Board’s considerations, the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have also been keenly examined with particular attention given to those recommendations which have a bearing on our regulatory work. The Board will work with relevant agencies as the broader impacts of these recommendations are fully considered and progressed through the relevant authorities for implementation.
Following Machinery of Government changes to increase collaboration and achieve efficiencies in service delivery across the public sector, the Board’s secretariat, the Teacher Registration Directorate, was transferred into the new Department of Education on 1 July 2017. I would like to acknowledge the work of the Director and staff in collaborating with their Department colleagues to effect a seamless transition.
The Board is mindful that, while implementing these arrangements, any actual or perceived conflicts of interest are managed and the Board’s independence is properly maintained, particularly with respect to its decision making. I would also like to acknowledge the leadership of the Director General of the Department of Education in this regard.
There has been a number of changes to the client interface with Board services to improve online application processes and security. In particular, the Board is introducing a new look login experience through a secure portal access for registered teachers and new applicants to access application forms, manage contact details and review registration information.
I extend a thank you to my fellow Board members for their commitment and work, especially those members who chair or are members of the committees of the Board. I also thank the Director and staff of the secretariat for their support and continued professionalism. I look forward to working with all stakeholders as we continue the important regulatory work of the Board.