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VIT regulatory decision

Here is a summary of a regulatory decision made by the VIT concerning a person purporting to be a registered teacher. All names have been removed.

The allegation

Person A, while not registered with the VIT, held him / herself out as being registered as an early childhood teacher contrary to section 2.6.58(1B) of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.

Background

The VIT was contacted by Health and Community Organisation B seeking to verify a copy of a VIT non-practising teacher registration card in Person A’s name. The VIT was unable to verify the details of the alleged card.

Shortly after the VIT had been contacted by Health and Community Organisation B, Person A applied for early childhood teacher registration, which was not granted.

Based on the information provided, the VIT decided to conduct an investigation into the matter, and notified Person A.

During its investigation, VIT learned that Person A

  • had obtained employment with Health and Community Organisation B after providing on request a certified degree for Bachelor of Education (Early Years) from University C and a copy of a VIT registration card in their name
  • was employed for 17 months, and during the course of this employment, was requested to produce a physical copy of their VIT registration card
  • sought information on how to create a fake card, purchased a printer for the purpose and produced the alleged registration card for their employer (anomalies in the card and missing information on the VIT website led to the employer contacting VIT)
  • purportedly held qualifications that could not be verified by University C.

After being contacted by VIT, Person A resigned from employment with Health and Community Organisation B.

The decision

After obtaining Person A’s alleged VIT registration card and employment record from Health and Community Organisation B and inviting Person A to participate in a voluntary Record of Interview, the VIT commenced criminal proceedings against Person A in the Magistrates’ Court.

The outcome

Person A pleaded guilty to one count of holding him / herself out to be a registered early childhood teacher and received a fine without conviction.

Magistrate D stated that Person A allowed Health and Community Organisation B to believe Person A was appropriately qualified, that Person A’s creation of fraudulent documents was done with “some sophistication” and that Magistrate D chose not to record a conviction by a “very, very slender margin” due to Person A’s guilty plea.

The matter was reported in the media.

Reflection

When reflecting on this case, note that section 2.6.58(1B) of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 states:

A person who is not registered as an early childhood teacher under Division 3A must not claim to be, or hold himself or herself out as being, registered as an early childhood teacher under Division 3A.

Also, because this matter involved a person who was not a registered teacher but purported to be part of the profession, consider the following aspects of the Victorian Teaching Profession Code of Conduct.

Victorian Teaching Profession’s Code of Conduct - Principle 1.3

Teachers work within the limits of their professional expertise.

In fulfilling their role, teachers have a wide range of responsibilities. Teachers are truthful when making statements about their qualifications and competencies, and can provide evidence to support these statements, if required to do so by VIT.

Victorian Teaching Profession’s Code of Conduct - Principle 2.1

The personal conduct of a teacher has an impact on the professional standing of that teacher and on the profession as a whole.

Although there is no definitive boundary between the personal and professional conduct of a teacher, teachers reflect community expectations in their personal conduct by

  • being positive role models in education settings, in the community and online
  • respecting and complying with the law.
Icon Important Info

Important information for teachers and employers

Note that a registration card is not the sole proof of a person’s status as a registered teacher. Employers can be satisfied that if a person’s name appears on the public register, then they hold valid VIT registration. If their name is displayed in red, they hold non-practising registration and are not able to undertake the duties of a teacher / early childhood teacher.