Teachers’ policy-based duties to report child sexual abuse : a comparative study

Mathews, Benjamin P., Cronan, Jane, Walsh, Kerryann M., Farrell, Ann, & Butler, Desmond A. (2008) Teachers’ policy-based duties to report child sexual abuse : a comparative study. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Law and Education, 13(2), pp. 23-37.

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Each year, some 3,500 children in Australia are identified by government child protection authorities to be sexually abused, with the real incidence being even higher. Where a teacher suspects a child has been sexually abused, different types of duty may require the teacher to report his or her suspicion. However, these reporting duties may be found in multiple sources, namely legislation, common law, and school policy. For an individual teacher, the content of those duties may be different. Further, the sources and content of reporting duties differ across government and nongovernment school sectors within States and Territories, and differ between States and Territories. This article reports on a comparative study of policy-based duties to report suspected child sexual abuse in government and nongovernment schools in Queensland, New South Wales, and Western Australia. Key elements of the policy frameworks in these States, in both government and nongovernment schools, are described, and significant differences are identified. Aspects of the policy frameworks are compared to legislative and common law reporting duties, and are assessed for legal soundness, theoretical soundness, and practical workability.

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ID Code: 17762
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: child sexual abuse, teachers, policy-based duties to report, Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia
ISSN: 1327-7634
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association Ltd
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
Deposited On: 16 Feb 2009 04:52
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:47

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