Education Standards Act 2001

  • This version includes a correction to section 69(2) made under section 25(j)(iii) and 25(j)(iv) of the Legislation Act 2012.

Regulating school hostels

39 New sections 144B to 144E inserted

The principal Act is amended by inserting, after section 144A, the following sections:

144B Purpose of sections 144C to 144E

The purpose of sections 144C to 144E is to help ensure the safety of students who board at hostels.

144C Regulations about school hostels

(1)

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for all or any of the following purposes:

(a)

adopting minimum standards that apply to hostel premises and facilities, whether the regulations set out the standards themselves or adopt standards contained in other documents:

(b)

adopting codes of practice relating to the management of hostels, whether the regulations set out the codes themselves or adopt codes contained in other documents:

(c)

prescribing offences for failing to comply with minimum standards or codes of practice adopted by regulations, and providing for a penalty on summary conviction for any such offence to be a fine not exceeding $10,000:

(d)

providing for exemptions from the application of minimum standards or codes of practice:

(e)

prescribing a system of licensing for hostels, which may include provisions—

(i)

providing for different sorts of licences:

(ii)

setting out the conditions to be met before a licence may be issued:

(iii)

prescribing the circumstances in which conditions may be imposed on a licence:

(iv)

setting out the conditions or type of conditions that may attach to a licence:

(v)

prohibiting students from boarding at an unlicensed hostel:

(vi)

prohibiting the payment of a boarding bursary, or any government subsidy relating to the cost of boarding at a hostel, in respect of a student boarding at an unlicensed hostel:

(vii)

prescribing offences for failure to comply with all or any licence conditions, and providing for a penalty on summary conviction for any such offence to be a fine not exceeding $10,000:

(viii)

providing for the suspension or cancellation of any licence:

(ix)

establishing a licensing body:

(x)

prescribing fees payable on application for, or renewal of, a licence, and for the return or refund of any fees in specified circumstances:

(f)

establishing a complaints procedure relating to complaints by students, parents, or Boards, about hostels:

(g)

providing for any other matters necessary or expedient for giving effect to the purpose described in section 144B.

(2)

Regulations made under subsection (1) may relate to all hostels, individual hostels, hostels of specified classes, or parts of hostels.

144D Inspection of hostels

(1)

An authorised person may at any reasonable time do any or all of the following:

(a)

enter any hostel premises and inspect the premises and facilities:

(b)

inspect, and make and remove copies of, any information relating to the management of the hostel:

(c)

require any person at a hostel to make or provide statements, in whatever form or manner is reasonable in the circumstances, about any matter relating to the safety of students who board at the hostel.

(2)

An authorised person may exercise the powers in subsection (1) only for the purpose of monitoring compliance with minimum standards, codes of practice, licences, or licence conditions.

(3)

The person in charge (or apparent charge) of the hostel must, if an authorised person requests it, co-operate in allowing the authorised person access to the premises, facilities, and information relating to the management of the hostel, including assisting the authorised person to copy (in usable form) any information required for the inspection.

(4)

The person in charge (or apparent charge) of a hostel commits an offence and is liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 if he or she fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with subsection (3).

(5)

An authorised person may not enter or inspect the room or sleeping area of a student accommodated at the hostel unless—

(a)

the authorised person believes on reasonable grounds that entry or inspection is necessary for a purpose specified in subsection (2); and

(b)

prior notice of the inspection is given to the student, and the purpose of the inspection is explained; and

(c)

the student is present during the inspection.

144E Authorised person for purpose of section 144D

(1)

The Minister may, by notice in writing, appoint any person as an authorised person for the purpose of exercising the powers in section 144D.

(2)

An authorisation under subsection (1) must state—

(a)

the name of the authorised person; and

(b)

the powers that he or she may exercise under section 144D; and

(c)

the date on which the authorisation was given, and the date (if any) on which it expires.

(3)

When an authorised person is exercising powers under section 144D, he or she must carry a copy of his or her authorisation, and must show it,—

(a)

on entering a hostel to be inspected, to the person in charge, or apparent charge, of the hostel; and

(b)

if the authorised person wishes to speak to any person in connection with the inspection, to that person.