9 Sep 2013

Urgent talks over convicted teachers' registration

6:13 am on 9 September 2013

The Teachers Council says it will meet as soon as possible with the Ministry of Education following revelations that teachers, including paedophiles, remain registered after pleading guilty to dangerous crimes.

Pamapuria School's former deputy principal James Parker is one of those who remains registered, despite being convicted in August of 74 charges of sexually abusing young boys.

He initially pleaded guilty to 49 of those charges in August 2012.

Secondary Principals Association president Tom Parsons says the law is an ass if teachers that have pleaded guilty are still on the register.

"Heaven forbid somebody could be employed in that interim period where we are just transferring that opportunist from one area to another without having a mechanism there to flag that that person is unlikely to be registered come sentencing," he says.

Post Primary Teachers Association president Angela Roberts says the more time between a guilty plea and a conviction, the more likely it is an offender can exploit the situation.

The Teachers Council says it is happy to consult with all involved parties and refine the rules.

However, director Peter Lind says the council needs to wait for a conviction so witnesses, such as those in the Parker case, do not have to appear before it to give evidence.

Education Minister Hekia Parata has said in a statement that the problem seems to be an example of bureacracy over common sense.