Criminal Checks Catch 47 Teachers
ONE teacher has been sacked and 46 others are being investigated
after criminal history checks revealed they had been charged with
serious or repeat offences.
Court transcripts, police records and other evidence is being examined to
determine whether it is safe for them to remain in schools.
The sacked teacher has been deregistered after checks uncovered an
indecent dealing conviction.
Education Minister Anna Bligh said an independent auditor, a former police
officer, would finalise checks into the 46 teachers who had been charged with
Ms Bligh said this was only a small percentage of the 38,000 teachers checked by the
Board of Teacher Registration.
"Overwhelmingly our teachers are of good character," she said. "However an exercise
such as this is worth it if it stops even one person of dubious character being close to
The registration board has been conducting background checks into 38,191 of the state's
teachers since September to ensure they do not pose a sexual or physical threat.
These teachers previously escaped scrutiny because they were registered before 1998
when compulsory checks began.
Teachers registered after that have been checked.
Teachers also face regular spot checks to reveal any recent criminal behaviour.
Overall, the latest checks found 1002 teachers, or 2.6 per cent, had some sort of
criminal history. Most were for minor offences such as shoplifting or drink-driving
and 75 per cent were committed more than a decade ago. No action will be taken
against these teachers.
Queensland Teachers Union vice-president Steve Ryan yesterday said he was not
surprised by the results.
"This is a very low percentage and it does demonstrate that the vast majority of
teachers are reputable," he said.
Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens Association president Wanda Lambert
agreed but welcomed State Government attempts to rid the profession of
"We're very happy that they're attempting to weed out the people who are
unsuitable to be there because one is one too many," Ms Lambert said.
Advertiser Newspapers Ltd (22-3-2004)