What conduct does VIT investigate?
The VIT may investigate the behaviour, conduct and relationships that a teacher may have with learners inside and outside the education setting. This may include, but is not limited to
- physical contact with a learner including pushing, hitting, dragging, slapping, and restraining learners
- sexual conduct towards a learner including any physical contact or communications with learners that are of a sexual nature
- written, electronic and online communications with learners that are beyond the professional relationship, or
- conduct that intimidates, humiliates, or embarrasses a learner.
The VIT may also investigate the conduct of a teacher towards parents, carers or their colleagues. This may include, but is not limited to
- communications or conduct with parents or carers of children outside the education setting which may compromise the professional relationship, or
- failing to be collegial and treat colleagues with courtesy and respect.
The VIT may also investigate whether a teacher is competent. This may include, but is not limited to
- knowing their learners and how they learn, and using this information to cater for individual abilities
- communicating effectively and appropriately with learners using verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support learner’s understanding, participation, engagement and achievement
- maintaining the wellbeing and safety of children in the learning environment
- managing challenging behaviour by establishing and negotiating clear expectations with learners and address discipline issues promptly, fairly and respectfully
- consulting with parents and carers about their learner’s needs, or
- sharing information with colleagues to support the teaching, wellbeing and safety of learners.
The VIT may also investigate other professional or personal conduct of a teacher that may affect their fitness to teach. This may include, but is not limited to
- conduct in any setting that may compromise the safety and wellbeing of children
- conduct that is discriminatory, culturally insensitive or otherwise shows intolerance
- family violence and other violence that may occur outside the education setting
- exploiting their position for personal and financial benefit, or
- theft, fraud or other deceptive conduct.
What happens during an investigation into a teacher’s fitness to teach?
During an investigation, VIT will gather information and documentation that may assist in determining
- whether the conduct occurred
- the impact that the conduct had on children and others
- the risk that the person may pose to the safety and wellbeing of children
- whether the person is fit to teach
- whether the person is physically and mentally able to teach, or
- what is the most reasonable and proportionate outcome may be to address the conduct.
This means that VIT may contact third parties to obtain relevant information and documentation. This may include individual such as witnesses, alleged victims and employers or former employers. It may also include contacting other organisations who may have relevant information, such as Victoria Police, the relevant court or tribunal, other teacher regulatory authorities in Australia, and The Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP).
The VIT may conduct interviews and take statements from relevant witnesses.
The VIT will provide the teacher with an opportunity to participate in a recorded record of interview, and/or respond to the allegations in writing.
What are the possible outcomes of an investigation?
It is important to remember that not all suitability or professional conduct matters will impact a teacher’s registration. The outcome of an application for registration or investigation will depend on the individual facts of each case.
Visit the Outcomes page to find out more.
Last updated: 12 May 2022