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Queensland Judgments
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  • Unreported Judgment

PPL v Queensland College of Teachers

 

[2019] QCAT 364

 

QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL

 

CITATION:

PPL v Queensland College of Teachers [2019] QCAT 364

PARTIES:

teacher ppl

 

(applicant)

 

v

 

queensland college of teachers

 

(respondent)

APPLICATION NO/S:

OCR333-19

MATTER TYPE:

Occupational regulation matters

DELIVERED ON:

21 November 2019

HEARING DATE:

On the papers

HEARD AT:

Brisbane

DECISION OF:

Member Cranwell

ORDERS:

  1. The suspension of the registration of Teacher PPL as a teacher is ended.
  2. The publication of any information that could identify Teacher PPL, Teacher PPL’s spouse or the relevant school is prohibited pursuant to section 66 of the of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld), with the exception that the Queensland College of Teachers may publish the decision and these reasons to:
    1. (a)
      any relevant body conducting an investigation of disciplinary proceedings relating to the matters giving rise to the proceedings;
    2. (b)
      the Chief Executive of the Department of Education;
    3. (c)
      other teacher regulatory authorities;
    4. (d)
      any employing authority for a school;
    5. (e)
      any principal of a school who was provided with a copy of the notice of suspension under s 50(4) of the Act;
    6. (f)
      the Minister for Education;
    7. (g)
      the Chief Executive of Employment Screening;
    8. (h)
      any other entity relevant to the teacher’s practice of the teaching profession.

CATCHWORDS:

EDUCATION – EDUCATORS – DISCIPLINARY MATTERS – suspension of teacher – where charge for serious offence withdrawn – whether suspension should continue

Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld), Schedule 1 – The Criminal Code, s 315A

Education (Queensland College of Teachers) Act 2005 (Qld), s 48, s 49, s 50, s 53, s 55

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld), s 66

Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld), s 167

REPRESENTATION:

 

Applicant:

Holding Redlich

Respondent:

Self-represented

APPEARANCES:

This matter was heard and determined on the papers pursuant to s 32 of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld)

REASONS FOR DECISION

  1. [1]
    On 4 July 2019, the Queensland College of Teachers (‘QCT’) suspended the registration of Teacher PPL as a teacher pursuant to s 48 of Education (Queensland College of Teachers) Act 2005 (Qld) (‘the Act’) on the basis that he had been charged with a serious offence. Teacher PPL had been charged with the offence of choking, suffocation or strangulation in a domestic setting pursuant to s 315A(1)(a) and (b)(i) of the Criminal Code.[1] This is a serious offence within the meaning of s 167 of the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld).
  2. [2]
    On 30 August 2019, the Tribunal continued the suspension of Teacher PPL’s registration as a teacher.[2] The Tribunal was required to continue the registration unless it was satisfied that the matter was an exceptional case in which the best interests of children would not be harmed if the suspension were ended.[3] The Tribunal was not so satisfied.
  3. [3]
    On 27 September 2019, Teacher PPL filed an application to review the Tribunal’s decision pursuant to s 55(6) of the Act.
  4. [4]
    The Tribunal has since been provided with the following letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions dated 17 October 2019:

On Monday, 8 July2019 the above named was committed for trial to the District Court at Warwick on a charge of strangulation in a domestic setting (domestic violence offence).

This Office has decided to discontinue proceedings.  Please note that our office has advised police that the appropriate charge for the offending was an offence of common assault.  It is now a matter for the Queensland Police Service whether your client is charged with that offence and the matter proceed in the Magistrates Court.

  1. [5]
    Accordingly, Teacher PPL is no longer charged with a serious offence and there is no basis for his suspension under s 48 of the Act.
  2. [6]
    The Tribunal notes that the QCT has a power to suspend teachers under s 49 of the Act if it reasonably believes the teacher poses an unacceptable risk of harm to children. However, for a suspension to take place under s 49 of the Act, the QCT must give a notice setting out the matters specified in s 50(3) of the Act. No such notice has been issued.
  3. [7]
    As there is no longer a basis for suspension under s 48 of the Act, and no notice has been issued in respect of a suspension under s 49 of the Act, it follows that I have no alternative but to end Teacher PPL’s suspension.

Non-publication order

  1. [8]
    Pursuant to s 66(1)(c) of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) (‘the QCAT Act’) the Tribunal can make an order prohibiting the publication of information that may enable a person who has appeared before the Tribunal to be identified. The Tribunal may do so on the application of a party or on its own initiative.[4]
  2. [9]
    Both the QCT and Teacher PPL have made submissions in favour of continuing the non-publication order under s 66. As Teacher PPL is not currently charged with an offence, has not yet been committed for trial or convicted of any charge, I am satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to continue the non-publication order. 
  1. [10]
    I will make the non-publication order with the exceptions sought by the QCT, noting that these were not opposed by Teacher PPL.

Footnotes

[1]  Schedule 1 of the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld).

[2] Queensland College of Teachers v PPL [2019] QCAT 278.

[3]  The Act, s 53(3)(a).

[4]  QCAT Act, s 66(3).

Close

Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    Teacher PPL v Queensland College of Teachers

  • Shortened Case Name:

    PPL v Queensland College of Teachers

  • MNC:

    [2019] QCAT 364

  • Court:

    QCAT

  • Judge(s):

    Member Cranwell

  • Date:

    21 Nov 2019

Appeal Status

Please note, appeal data is presently unavailable for this judgment. This judgment may have been the subject of an appeal.
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