Abuse reports rise
The number of child abuse reports made by teachers to authorities has increased.
Data soon to be released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reportedly reveals 5244 reports made by school staff were investigated by authorities in 2015-16, up from 4599 the previous year.
Insiders say and enhanced focus on domestic violence and the recent institutional child sex abuse inquiry could be making teachers more vigilant.
Judy Crowe, from the Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals, said teachers take reporting seriously.
“Reporting abuse is so important that it transcends concern about teachers being expected to do things that put extra work on them,” she told reporters.
“Government schools have a reasonably good record in this arena.”
But reporting takes time, and Victorian Principals Association president Anne-Maree Kliman says the reporting process must be streamlined.
“The time delay is a bother and I wonder how many calls got missed because of that,” Ms Kliman told News Corp reporters.
“Sometimes we also get push-back from the (Health and Human Services) department asking what we think they should be doing.
“It’s not our job to be making those decisions.”
Meredith Peace from the Australian Education Union says schools need long-term state and federal funding to help the “most vulnerable” students.