Summary - High School sues Board of Education
for cancellation of registration and accreditation due to
enrolment, attendance and program quality.
Strike First – Cancellation by the
The Board of Studies has recently recommended to the Minister
for Education that ANC High School Pty Ltd
(School) have its non-government school
registration (license to operate) and accreditation cancelled, the
result of which being that the school could no longer nominate
candidates to be awarded a Higher School Certificate.
Strike Back – Legal Proceedings by the
The School applied to the
Administrative Decisions Tribunal for a review of those
decisions, continued to operate during the legal proceedings and
was ultimately successful but on a limited basis and not to the
extent they had hoped.
Strike Force – Three Reasons for
The Board of Studies based their recommendation to the Minister
for Education on findings that the School failed to provide an
appropriate education program quality, failed to
keep proper enrolment and attendance records and
as a result also failed to provide a safe and supportive
environment for students.
Enrolment and attendance: The School argued and
the Tribunal agreed that failure to keep appropriate records was
not a condition of registration but a criminal offence for which
the Principal not the School could be found to be personally
Safe and supportive environment: The School
argued that the keeping of an enrollment and attendance record was
not a requirement in the provision of a safe and supportive
environment. The Tribunal agreed but noted that the implementation
of an absenteeism policy was a relevant and essential matter.
Program Quality: The Tribunal was particularly
critical of the School drop out rates, the majority of students
obtaining the lowest possible band scores for HSC subjects,
consistently failed assessments, classes being offered with below
minimum contact hours and inconsistent policies regarding the
requirement to complete any homework.
Strike Out – Why Both Parties
The Tribunal found that the recommendations from the Board of
Education to the Minister for Education were an exercise of
discretion and in the circumstances, while serious concerns had
been identified, appropriate use of that discretion supported
outcomes less severe than immediate cancellation of registration
The Tribunal did, however, impose upon the School a reduction of
the renewal period for both registration and accreditation so that
both will expire later this year.
Lesson of the day
When an individual or group exercises a decision making power
with a level of discretion, it is important to identify:
What are the full circumstances relevant to the decision-making
Who is responsible for the specific conduct/omissions
complained of and do those persons (or other persons) have broader
duties and obligations under the employment contract; and
Is the finding made and severity of any action taken
proportionate to the breach.
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