Introduced into the Victorian Parliament in December 2009, the Education and Training Reform Amendment Bill 2009 makes a number of important changes
to the role, function, structure and operations of the Victorian Institute of Teaching.
The Bill includes the proposed first tranche of legislative amendments arising from the ministerial review of the Institute completed in 2008.
In delivering the second reading speech for the Bill, Education Minister Bronwyn Pike told Parliament the changes would improve the efficiency and
effectiveness of the Institute, with direct benefits for teachers, schools, children and their families.
In a key reform, the size of the Institute’s governing council will be reduced from 20 to 12 members, a move designed to complement more streamlined
decision making and deliver a more efficient service to teachers. Effective from the expiry date of the term of office of current councillors, the
smaller council will bring the Institute into line with governance structures for other regulatory bodies.
Another important change will be to more strongly emphasise the role of the Institute as a regulator.
To help provide a more efficient registration service to Victorian teachers, renewal of registration will progressively happen every year, to coincide
with the proposed common annual fee date. This process of annualised renewal is expected to be implemented from September 2011. However, for teachers
already in a five-year renewal period, their registration will continue until the five-year expiry date.
And in a broadening of the Institute’s current powers, with an expected proclamation date of 1 January 2011, the Bill gives the Institute power to
investigate allegations below the level of serious misconduct and to impose a greater range of sanctions. These sanctions include that a teacher undertake
specified further education or training and that a teacher’s registration be cancelled for a period of time.
The Bill also grants the Institute power to initiate an investigation in relation to a registered teacher, under certain circumstances, without a
complaint or formal notification. This will provide the Institute with greater capacity to investigate cases that it previously didn’t have the power to look into.