"In the Education State, we want every learner to feel safe and supported each and every day of their education journey.
"Teachers play a crucial role in supporting all Victorian learners to achieve the best educational outcomes and providing for the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.
"Teachers, along with other professionals who command responsibility and trust, such as
psychologists, medical practitioners and lawyers, have Codes of Conduct that guide their professional practice. These codes provide the community with an assurance that members of that profession are governed by standards which promote trust and confidence.
"Teachers are members of a skilled and trusted profession and the Code of Conduct reflects the high standards that the teaching profession holds itself to, and the community rightly expects of it. It provides the foundation for the accountability and integrity of the teaching profession.
"The Victorian Teaching Profession’s Code of Conduct describes the behaviours that exemplify the values of the Victorian teaching profession and the community’s expectations of teachers.
"It has now been over a decade since the Victorian Teaching Profession’s Code of Conduct was
established. Since that time, much has changed in the education landscape, including the welcome addition of early childhood teachers into the registered teaching profession in 2015. The growth of social media and the impact of the Betrayal of Trust Inquiry and Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has dramatically changed the public expectations of teacher conduct and behaviour. These changes prompted a review of the Code, with the intention of revising it in the context of the transformed landscape.
"During 2019 and 2020, the Victorian Institute of Teaching widely consulted the education community to develop a revised Code of Conduct. The revised Code provides a more contemporary reflection of the expectations on a teacher’s professional conduct, personal conduct and professional competence, and more appropriately reflects the significant role that teachers play in providing for the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, as well as the unique position of trust and influence they have over their learners.
"The revised Code of Conduct reflects contemporary expectations on teachers in maintaining expected professional boundaries with their learners, including in the online space. The Code now encompasses the full range of teaching contexts in Victoria. It also articulates the competencies that teachers must have to support Victorian learners and be responsive to their specific backgrounds and vulnerabilities.
"I invite all registered teachers to take the opportunity to refresh their understanding of how the Code of Conduct guides their behaviour and to engage with their colleagues and leadership about how they can best adhere to its principles. I’d like to thank all registered teachers for their integral part in helping young Victorians look forward to a bright future."
--The Hon James Merlino MP, Deputy Premier, Minister for Education