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Queensland College of Teachers v KML QCAT 403
Queensland College of Teachers v KML  QCAT 403
Queensland College of Teachers
Occupational regulation matters
On the papers
A/Senior Member Browne
23 November 2017
EDUCATION – TRAINING AND REGISTRATION OF TEACHERS – suspension of teacher – where charged with serious offence – whether exceptional case – whether suspension should continue
Education (Queensland College of Teachers) Act 2005 (Qld), s 48, s 53, s 54, s 55
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld), s 66
This matter was heard and determined on the papers pursuant to s 32 of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) (QCAT Act).
REASONS FOR DECISION
- KML has been registered in Queensland as a teacher since 2010. The Queensland College of Teachers (‘QCT’) suspended KML’s teacher’s registration on 18 October 2017 pursuant to s 48 of the Education (Queensland College of Teachers) Act 2005 (Qld) (‘QCT Act’). KML’s teacher’s registration was suspended on the grounds that he had been charged with three charges of ‘indecent treatment of children under 16; child under 12 years lineal descendent/guardian/carer’ pursuant to section 210(1)(a), (3) and (4) of the Criminal Code (Qld).
- In accordance with s 50(5) of the QCT Act, the QCT has referred the continuation of the suspension to the Tribunal for review. The Tribunal must decide whether to continue the suspension or whether it is an exceptional case in which the best interests of children will not be harmed if the suspension were ended.
- Directions were made by the Tribunal inviting KML to file submissions as to why the matter is an exceptional case in which the best interests of children would not be harmed if the suspension of the registration were ended. KML has responded to the Tribunal through his legal representative indicating that he does not wish to make any submissions as to why the matter is an exceptional case.
- As such, there is no evidence before the Tribunal that this is an exceptional case for ending the suspension of the registration of KML as a teacher. I am not satisfied that it is an exceptional case in which the bests interests of children would not be harmed if the suspension were to be ended before the criminal charges have been finalised.
- I order that teacher KML’s teacher’s registration suspension continue.
- Pursuant to s 66(1)(c) of 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.
- KML submits that is appropriate to make a non-publication order in this matter. He submits that information published which would identify KML may also identify the complainant children, as they attend or did attend a small school in a small community. He further submits that publication of his identity at this stage could jeopardise his fragile mental health.
- I am satisfied that it would be contrary to the public interest for information to be published which would identify any relevant complainant children in the criminal proceedings. I am satisfied that there is a possibility that the publication of KML’s name would lead to the identification of the complainant children in the criminal proceedings. This aspect of the non-publication order can be revisited in any subsequent disciplinary proceedings.
- I make orders pursuant to s 66 of the QCAT Act prohibiting the publication of any information which may identify KML, any relevant complainant child, or any relevant school.
- Published Case Name:
Queensland College of Teachers v KML
- Shortened Case Name:
Queensland College of Teachers v KML
 QCAT 403
Acting Senior Member Browne
23 Nov 2017