About the Codes of Conduct and Ethics (Codes)
The Codes are public statements developed for and by the teaching profession to:
- reflect shared principles about practice, conduct and ethics to be applied to promote the highest standards of professional practice
- enable registered teachers to reflect on their ethical decisions
- establish the quality of behaviour that reflects the expectations of the profession and the community
- provide a clear statement to the community about these expectations.
Putting the Codes into practice
The Codes are designed to help teachers navigate and resolve difficult professional and ethical dilemmas.
While there may be no single correct solution, teachers should be able to account for their actions by referring to the Codes.
Teachers are encouraged to use the Codes along with any other codes and/or policies developed by their employer or school, to guide their professional practice. They may also be used to challenge the ethical and professional behaviour of a teacher and could provide grounds for complaint if a teacher’s practice falls short of the expected standard.
The Codes should be treated as an educational tool to help the profession:
- define and redefine its values
- assist individual teachers to be vigilant about ethical tensions
- help them develop principled ways to resolve issues.
- consider professional boundaries
Code of Conduct review
It has now been over a decade since the Victorian Teaching Profession’s Code of Conduct (the Code) 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 changed the public expectations of teacher’s conduct and behaviour. This has prompted a review of the Code to ensure it fits in the contemporary context of community expectations of teachers.
VIT has launched a review of the Code. The review commenced with a Professional Boundaries Workshop held in March 2019, which saw over 100 education stakeholders, including practicing teachers from a range of settings across all sectors, come together to explore the Code and share their feedback. Since then, VIT has facilitated a number of smaller, more targeted workshops with key stakeholder groups.
VIT will be seeking feedback on the Code from a number of stakeholder groups through:
- Submissions to a Discussion Paper (available August 2019)
- Regional Workshops (August-November 2019)
- Metropolitan Workshops (details early 2020)
- Other meetings and roundtables
Check back here for opportunities to share your thoughts on the Code.
For any questions about the review of the Code, please contact VIT at email@example.com