The new TAFE SA Act 2012 that will come into effect shortly requires TAFE SA to make rules including:
- 'to provide a scheme for disciplinary actions against students, including review of a decision to take disciplinary action'.
- 'to provide for any other matter affecting the administration of TAFE SA'.
The new Rules will replace the Technical and Further Education Regulations 1999 which are the current basis for managing student conduct. The current Regulations provide for:
- student conduct to be managed via rules and directions established, promulgated and enforced by the 'director of a college'
- students to be suspended by the director
- students to be suspended generally and expelled by the Minister.
There is the opportunity now for TAFE SA to decide who has the power to make these decisions and this has been taken up in the draft Rules.
Students and staff are invited to comment on the proposed new rules that, when approved by the TAFE SA Board, will be confirmed by the Governor.
The proposed Student Discipline Scheme is largely a transposition of TAFE SA practice into a new framework.
Currently, standards of behaviour required of students and consequences of failing to meet these standards are set down in the following policy documents:
- Student Code of Behaviour
- TAFE SA Student Conduct Policy and Procedures
- TAFE SA Assessment Policy and Procedures.
These documents are supplemented by class norms and other directions to students promulgated in information to new students and expectations and prohibitions stated on the web.
All of the standards set out in these existing documents and instructions have been incorporated into the proposed:
- TAFE SA Rules
- Student Code of Behaviour
- Student Discipline Scheme Procedures.
You will note:
- the draft rules are higher level statements of policy. They have been worded carefully with a view to minimising the number of amendments necessary over time.
- The revised Student Code of Behaviour (for the TAFE SA web page) contains no new requirements of students but will be re-arranged and will include some extra examples to promote understanding of the code amongst our diverse student body.
- Instead of specifically naming the positions that have authority to decide to take a disciplinary action, the new rules and procedures refer to 5 levels of authority.
Once the draft new rules are approved, the TAFE SA Board will identify the positions at levels 2-4 for each campus. This system will ensure that the rules don't have to be amended when names of positions alter, and that all campuses know who is responsible for taking disciplinary actions.
- The major difference between the new scheme and existing policy is the provision in the Rules and the procedures of 'a review of a decision to take disciplinary action' that is required under the Act.
- The Rules and procedures cover academic and general misconduct (as do the existing Student Conduct Policy and Procedures).
- The existing TAFE SA Student Conduct Policy and Procedures will be replaced with a new TAFE SA Discipline Procedures document because the policy is now spelled out in the new Rules There's not any real difference to existing procedure except the reference to Levels 1-5, the introduction of the review panel step, the Student Participation Agreement is called a Good Behaviour Agreement, and there is a clear statement that all staff have authority to exclude a student who has infringed the rules or code for a period up to 2 working days. This will promote:
- greater shared understanding of the rules and consequences of inappropriate behaviour and
- more effective responses to inappropriate behavior across all TAFE SA campuses.
You are invited to provide your feedback on the draft rules before 9am Monday 17 September 2012.
Further information is available;
Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback.