Teachers reporting child sexual abuse : towards evidence-based reform of law, policy and practice

Mathews, Benjamin P., Walsh, Kerryann M., Butler, Desmond A., Farrell, Ann, & (2010) Teachers reporting child sexual abuse : towards evidence-based reform of law, policy and practice. ARC Discovery Project, DP0664847. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD.


This report presents the results of the largest study ever conducted into the law, policy and practice of primary school teachers’ reporting of child sexual abuse in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. The study included the largest Australian survey of teachers about reporting sexual abuse, in both government and non-government schools (n=470).

Our research has produced evidence-based findings to enhance law, policy and practice about teachers’ reporting of child sexual abuse. The major benefits of our findings and recommendations are to: • Show how the legislation in each State can be improved; • Show how the policies in government and non-government school sectors can be improved; and • Show how teacher training can be improved. These improvements can enhance the already valuable contribution that teachers are making to identify cases of child sexual abuse.

Based on the findings of our research, this report proposes solutions to issues in seven key areas of law, policy and practice. These solutions are relevant for State Parliaments, government and non-government educational authorities, and child protection departments. The solutions in each State are practicable, low-cost, and align with current government policy approaches. Implementing these solutions will: • protect more children from sexual abuse; • save cost to governments and society; • develop a professional teacher workforce better equipped for their child protection role; and • protect government and school authorities from legal liability.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 33010
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: child sexual abuse, child protection, mandatory reporting, legislation, Ben Mathews, child sex abuse, Kerryann Walsh, Des Butler, Ann Farrell
ISBN: 9781741073089
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > OTHER EDUCATION (139900)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > OTHER LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (189900)
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 > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 04 Jul 2010 21:30
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2015 01:40

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