Amendments to the Working with Children Act 2005
As part of the Children Legislation Amendment Act 2019, amendments to the Working with Children Act 2005 (the Act) came into effect on 10 December 2019.
The government is working to protect all Victorian children from harm, and the reforms strengthen protections under the Act by limiting the appeal rights of adults charged with, or found guilty of, the most serious offences.
The amendments limit the right of appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for persons whose Working with Children Check application is rejected if they, as an adult, have been charged with, convicted or found guilty of a Category A offence. Category A offences are the most serious offences for the purpose of the Act and include murder, rape and sexual offences committed against a child.
These important reforms respond to a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission), in which the Royal Commission found that a person convicted of certain serious offences will always pose an unacceptable risk to children.
New requirement for teachers registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT)
Teachers and early childhood teachers registered with the VIT continue to be exempt from holding a WWC Check but from 1 September 2019, must notify Working with Children Check Victoria (WWCCV) of any child-related work they do outside of their teaching in a school or early childhood service (regardless of whether it is paid or voluntary work).
If VIT suspends or cancels the registration of a teacher or early childhood teacher, WWCCV may notify the organisations where the teacher engages in child-related work that their teacher exemption from a WWC Check no longer applies.
To notify WWCCV of their child-related work (other than teaching in a school or early childhood service), VIT registered teachers and early childhood teachers must complete the 'Teacher notification' form. This form must be completed before the end of the 2019 school year.
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