Education Amendment Act (No 3) 2010

11 New headings and sections 35A to 35R substituted
  • Sections 35A to 35C are repealed and the following headings and sections substituted:

    Registration of private schools

    35A Provisional and full registration of private schools
    • (1) The managers of an unregistered or proposed private school must apply to the Secretary, on a form provided by the Secretary for the purpose, for its provisional registration as a primary, secondary, or special private school, or as a school of 2 or all of those descriptions.

      (2) The Secretary must provisionally register a school in respect of which an application is made under subsection (1) as a school of the description or descriptions concerned if he or she is satisfied that the school or proposed school meets or is likely to meet the criteria for registration as a private school.

      (3) Provisional registration of a school or proposed school continues—

      • (a) for 12 months (unless it is revoked earlier); or

      • (b) until the expiry of any period specified by the Secretary under subsection (4).

      (4) The Secretary may renew the provisional registration of a school only once, for a period specified by the Secretary, if he or she is satisfied that—

      • (a) exceptional circumstances exist in relation to the school; and

      • (b) the school is likely to meet the criteria for registration as a private school in that period.

      (5) The Secretary may request a further review, in addition to the review under section 35I(2), of a school that has its provisional registration renewed under subsection (4).

      (6) The Secretary must fully register a school as a school of the description or descriptions concerned if he or she is satisfied, having considered any report under section 35I(4) in relation to a review under section 35I(2) or (3) (as the case may be), that a provisionally registered school meets the criteria for registration as a private school.

    35B Secretary may require application for registration of school
    • The Secretary may require the managers of a school that is not registered under section 35A to apply for its registration under that section if he or she considers that the school is operating as a school, whether or not certificates of exemption under section 21 are held in respect of all or any of the students being taught there.

    Criteria for registration as private school

    35C Criteria for registration as private school
    • The criteria for registration as a private school under section 35A are that the school—

      • (a) has premises that are suitable, as described in section 35D; and

      • (b) usually provides tuition for 9 or more students who are of or over the age of 5 years but are under the age of 16 years; and

      • (c) has staffing that is suitable to the age range and level of its students, the curriculum taught at the school, and the size of the school; and

      • (d) has equipment that is suitable for the curriculum being delivered or to be delivered at the school; and

      • (e) has a curriculum for teaching, learning, and assessment and makes details of the curriculum and its programme for delivery available for parents; and

      • (f) has suitable tuition standards, as described in section 35F; and

      • (g) has managers who are fit and proper persons (as described in section 35G) to be managers of a private school.

    35D Suitable premises
    • (1) Suitable premises for a school registered under section 35A are premises that are suitable for a school of its description and the number of students at the school.

      (2) Subsection (1) applies to all premises used by the school for the regular delivery of courses, whether or not the managers of the school own or lease the premises for the school.

    35E Additional and substituted premises to be approved
    • (1) The managers of a school registered under section 35A must, in the circumstances set out in subsection (2), notify the Secretary and obtain his or her approval before using new premises for the regular delivery of courses.

      (2) The circumstances are that the managers of the school propose that the school is to occupy—

      • (a) premises that are in addition to its current premises; or

      • (b) different premises that are to replace the premises currently occupied by the school.

      (3) When considering whether to grant approval of premises under subsection (1), the Secretary must consider whether the premises are suitable, as described in section 35D.

    35F Tuition standards
    • (1) Tuition of a suitable standard at a school registered under section 35A must include giving students tuition of a standard no lower than that of the tuition given to students enrolled at State schools of the same class levels.

      (2) In assessing the standard of tuition, the mode of curriculum delivery and the regularity of instruction must be considered.

    35G Managers to be fit and proper persons
    • (1) In assessing whether a person who is a manager of a school is a fit and proper person to be a manager of a school registered under section 35A, the following matters must be taken into account:

      • (a) any conviction for a serious criminal activity:

      • (b) any health problems that may affect the person's ability to comply with his or her obligations towards the school and its students:

      • (c) any adjudication of bankruptcy under the Insolvency Act 2006 or the Insolvency Act 1967, or prohibition from being a director or promoter of, or being concerned or taking part in the management of, a company under any of sections 382, 383, 385, and 386A of the Companies Act 1993:

      • (d) any previous cancellation under this Act or section 186 of the Education Act 1964 of the registration of a school of which the person was a manager:

      • (e) any serious breach of the person's statutory duties as manager of a school registered under section 35A of this Act or section 186 of the Education Act 1964:

      • (f) any conviction for an offence under section 35R:

      • (g) all other relevant matters.

      (2) If the manager of a school is—

      • (a) a company, the assessment under subsection (1) applies to its directors:

      • (b) an incorporated society or an incorporated trust board, the assessment under subsection (1) applies to its members.

      (3) When the management of a school registered under section 35A changes in its entirety or is transferred to a new entity, the new managers must give notice to the Secretary and an assessment under subsection (1) must be made of the new managers of the school.

    Managers to advise Secretary of private school ceasing operation

    35H Managers must advise Secretary of school ceasing operation
    • The managers of a school registered under section 35A that is about to cease to operate as a school must inform the Secretary—

      • (a) that the school will cease to operate as a school; and

      • (b) of the date on which the school will cease to operate as a school.

    Review of private schools registered under section 35A

    35I Review of schools registered under section 35A
    • (1) As soon as practicable after provisionally registering a school or proposed school under section 35A(2), the Secretary must inform the Chief Review Officer of the provisional registration.

      (2) The Chief Review Officer must ensure that a review officer reviews any school that is provisionally registered under section 35A(2) either—

      • (a) between 6 and 12 months after the provisional registration of the school or proposed school; or

      • (b) earlier, by agreement with its managers.

      (3) The Chief Review Officer must ensure that a review officer conducts a further review of a school that has had its provisional registration renewed under section 35A(4), when the further review is requested by the Secretary under section 35A(5).

      (4) The Chief Review Officer must ensure that a review officer who conducts a review under subsection (2) or (3) prepares a written report in relation to the review and gives copies of it to the Secretary and the school's manager.

      (5) The Chief Review Officer must ensure that a school, while registered under section 35A(6), is reviewed in accordance with Part 28.

      (6) The Chief Review Officer must also ensure that the review officer who conducts a review under subsection (5)—

      • (a) prepares a written report on the review; and

      • (b) gives copies of it to the Secretary and the school's principal (or other chief executive) and managers.

      (7) A review officer's written report on a review under this section must also include—

      • (a) information as to whether the school meets the criteria for registration as a private school; and

      • (b) information as to the areas in which improvement is required, if it does not meet the criteria.

    Actions by Secretary in regard to schools registered under section 35A

    35J Secretary's actions in regard to schools registered under section 35A
    • (1) The Secretary may take action in regard to a school registered under section 35A if—

      • (a) he or she considers that the school is not meeting all or any of the criteria for registration as a private school; or

      • (b) a review conducted under section 35I indicates that the school does not, or is not likely to, meet all or any of the criteria for registration as a private school; or

      • (c) the managers of the school have breached or are breaching their statutory duties in relation to the school under this or any other enactment; or

      • (d) he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that serious criminal activity is occurring in the school.

      (2) If the Secretary is satisfied that any 1 or more of the grounds set out in subsection (1) exist in relation to a school registered under section 35A, he or she may do any 1 or more of the following:

      • (a) issue the school's managers with a notice to comply:

      • (b) require the managers of a school to inform parents of the students at the school that the school is not meeting the criteria for registration as a private school:

      • (c) impose conditions on the school's registration:

      • (d) impose a requirement or requirements under any 1 or more of paragraphs (a) to (c), and suspend the school's registration:

      • (e) cancel the school's registration under section 35M.

      (3) Any action taken by the Secretary under subsection (2)—

      • (a) must be proportionate to the seriousness of the school's situation; and

      • (b) is in addition to any fine incurred or other penalty imposed under section 35R or under any other enactment.

    35K Suspension of registration if welfare of students may be at risk
    • The Secretary may at any time suspend the registration of a school registered under section 35A if he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that the welfare of the students at the school is at risk, and—

      • (a) that it is unlikely that the risk can be managed by any practicable means other than by suspension of the registration; or

      • (b) that, although the risk could be managed by means other than by suspension of the registration, the amount of time necessary to do so is likely, in the opinion of the Secretary, to be excessive.

    35L Duration of suspension
    • (1) Suspension under section 35J(2)(d) continues until the Secretary—

      • (a) is satisfied that the managers of the school have complied with all requirements imposed by him or her under any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of section 35J(2); or

      • (b) cancels the school's registration under section 35M.

      (2) Suspension under section 35K continues until the Secretary—

      • (a) is satisfied that the welfare of the students at the school is no longer at risk; or

      • (b) cancels the school's registration under section 35M, after taking action under section 35J(2).

    35M Process for cancellation of registration
    • (1) The Secretary may cancel the registration of a school if, following an action by him or her taken under any of paragraphs (a) to (d) of section 35J(2),—

      • (a) the school—

        • (i) does not improve sufficiently to meet the criteria for registration under section 35A; and

        • (ii) is not likely to do so, in the opinion of the Secretary, within a further reasonable time; or

      • (b) the managers of the school are continuing in breach of their statutory duties in relation to the school; or

      • (c) serious criminal activity continues to occur in the school.

      (2) Before cancelling a school's registration under subsection (1), the Secretary must—

      • (a) take reasonable steps to obtain and consider any relevant information, including any report by a review officer; and

      • (b) give written notice to the managers of the school that he or she is considering cancelling the school's registration, and give reasons; and

      • (c) give the managers of the school a reasonable opportunity to respond to the notice.

    Grants for private schools

    35N Grants for private schools
    • (1) The Minister may make grants to the managers of schools registered under section 35A out of money appropriated by Parliament for the purpose.

      (2) The Minister must determine the amount of each grant made under subsection (1).

      (3) A grant may be made unconditionally, or subject to conditions determined by the Minister.

      (4) The managers of a school to which a grant is made subject to conditions must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the conditions are complied with.

    35O Record-keeping in relation to grants to private schools
    • (1) The managers of a school to which a grant has been made unconditionally under section 35N must ensure that records are kept—

      • (a) in respect of the year in which the grant was made and the year after; and

      • (b) in a manner approved by the Minister.

      (2) The records must—

      • (a) show fully and correctly all the managers' financial transactions, assets, liabilities, and funds; and

      • (b) be available for inspection at all reasonable times by any employee of the Ministry approved by the Secretary for the purpose.

      (3) The managers of a school to which a grant under section 35N has been made subject to conditions must ensure that all necessary records are kept—

      • (a) in respect of the year in which the grant was made and the year after; and

      • (b) in a manner approved by the Minister.

      (4) The records must—

      • (a) show fully and fairly—

        • (i) any of the managers' financial transactions, assets, liabilities, and funds, that relate to or are or were affected by the making of the grants; and

        • (ii) that the conditions have been complied with; and

      • (b) be available for inspection at all reasonable times by any employee of the Ministry approved by the Secretary for the purpose.

      (5) For the purposes of this section and section 35P, the financial year of a school's managers ends—

      • (a) at the close of the day specified by the Minister for the purpose; or

      • (b) at the close of 30 June, if the Minister has not specified a day for the purpose.

    35P Providing accounts to Secretary
    • As soon as practicable after the end of each financial year during which a school's managers are required by section 35O to keep records, they must—

      • (a) have prepared an income and expenditure account, showing all financial transactions for the year records of which are required to be kept; and

      • (b) have the account audited by a chartered accountant; and

      • (c) give the Secretary copies of the account and the audit report on it.

    Suspensions and expulsions from private schools

    35Q Suspensions and expulsions of students from private schools to be notified to Secretary
    • (1) Immediately after a student has been suspended from attendance at, or expelled from, a school registered under section 35A, the school's principal or head teacher must give the Secretary—

      • (a) written notice of—

        • (i) the student's name and last known address; and

        • (ii) the day on which the student was suspended or expelled or, if the student was first suspended and later expelled, the days on which the student was suspended and expelled, and the length of the suspension; and

      • (b) a written statement of the reasons for the student's suspension or expulsion.

      (2) Unless the student is within a reasonable time reinstated at the school or enrolled at some other registered school, the Secretary must (if the student is younger than 16) and may (if the student is 16 or older)—

      • (a) arrange for the student to be enrolled at some other reasonably convenient registered school that the student can attend; or

      • (b) direct the board of a State school that is not an integrated school to enrol the student at the school; and, in that case, the board must do so; or

      • (c) direct a parent of the student to have the student enrolled at a correspondence school.

      (3) The Secretary must not give a direction under subsection (2) unless he or she has also made all reasonable attempts to consult the student, the student's parents, the board, and any other person or organisation that, in the opinion of the Secretary, may be interested in, or able to advise on or help with, the student's education or welfare.

      (4) A direction under subsection (2)(b) overrides section 11M.

      (5) To the extent that there is any inconsistency between this section and a contract of enrolment at the school, this section prevails.

    Offences in relation to private schools

    35R Offences in relation to operation of private schools
    • (1) A manager of a private school that is not registered under section 35A commits an offence if it operates as a school.

      (2) A manager of a private school that is registered under section 35A as a school of a particular description or descriptions commits an offence if the school operates as a school of another description or of other descriptions.

      (3) The managers of a private school that is registered under section 35A commit an offence if the school ceases to operate before the managers tell the Secretary that it will cease to operate.

      (4) A person who commits an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200 for every day or part of a day on which the offence took place.