Education Amendment Bill changes

The Select Committee has reported back the Amendment Bill, with some changes.

The majority of us recommend inserting new section 139AAAB, in clause 28, to allow a teacher or staff member to require that a student remove their jacket or outer clothing so that it can be searched, and to require the search to comply with the safeguards detailed in new section 139AAAC. The removal of outer clothing would not be permitted if the student had no other clothing, or only underclothes, under the outer clothing. Students might be suspected of having harmful or illegal items in the pockets of their jackets or outerwear, and the new section proposed would make it clear for teachers how they would be permitted to search for such items.

There was concern, which I had previously blogged on, that the original bill made it impossible for teachers to do any sort of checking of students without their consent.

The recommended new section 139AAAB would allow a teacher or other staff member to require a student to hand over a bag or other container and allow it to be searched, if they believed the student is inpossession of a harmful item. The majority of us are con

cerned that the legislation as introduced would prohibit a teacher from requiring a student to hand over a bag containing a harmful item, leaving the teacher unable to take this step to provide a safe learning environment.

Also sensible. So who would be against teachers being able to check for weapons or drugs?

The of course:

While we agree that a school must be a safe place for students and teachers we do not believe the additional powers in the bill can be justified.


We considered whether partnership schools should be subject to the same oversight as existing state schools, for example via the Ombudsman. On balance it is our view that the Ombudsmen Act 1975 should apply to the exercise of discipline powers relating to suspensions, expulsions, stand-downs, and exclusions, and we therefore recommend amending clause 31, new section 158X, and inserting new clause 43. This provision would have the effect of ensuring that all children and their families would have access to the Ombudsman.

That is a sensible and welcome move.

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