People authorised to issue, vary or revoke orders
Authorised persons are people who can issue, vary or revoke school community safety orders (orders). This includes:
- principals and acting principals
- the Secretary
- Deputy Secretary, Schools and Regional Services (SRS)
- regional directors, in respect of schools in their own region.
Authorised persons are required to first complete the (staff login required) before issuing an ongoing order. Authorised persons are also strongly encouraged to have completed the training before issuing an immediate order to reduce the risk that the requirements are not fully understood and complied with when issuing these types of orders. They must retain evidence of completion and produce it upon request by the department.
It is recommended that any acting arrangements are recorded in writing before those arrangements commence to avoid any disputes as to whether the person was acting in the position.
If the authorised person has planned leave, they must update eduPay to reflect the acting responsibilities. This will enable the person acting in the position to have the same powers as the authorised person for the period they are acting in the position.
If the authorised person has unplanned leave, and another person is not appointed to act in the authorised person’s position, the school may request that another authorised person (for example, a regional director) issue an order by submitting a report on eduSafe Plus.
When an authorised person other than a principal should issue an order
There are some instances where it is more appropriate for someone other than a principal to issue an order, such as if a principal wishes to maintain an effective working relationship with the parent or if they are unable to make an objective and impartial decision because they themselves are subject to the behaviour that gives rise to an order.
Principals should contact their senior education improvement leader (SEIL) to discuss whether there is an alternative authorised person who may issue an order, such as a regional director. The alternative authorised person should contact Legal Division for advice and assistance with issuing an order.
Disagreements between authorised persons on whether to issue an order
As a range of persons are authorised to issue orders, there may be circumstances where 2 or more authorised persons have different views about whether an order should be issued.
Where a principal disagrees with an authorised person in the department as to whether an order should be issued, the matter should be escalated to another authorised person who is senior to both positions. For example, if a principal disagrees with a regional director, then the decision on whether to issue an order should be escalated to the Deputy Secretary, SRS.
Although an authorised person may consider the views of others when deciding whether to issue, vary or revoke an order, they must independently exercise their discretion to do so. For example, a SEIL (who is not an authorised person) can speak to the principal about such a decision but they cannot direct the principal to act in a particular manner.
Authorising additional persons
School or department staff can apply to the Deputy Secretary, SRS to have other department employees or classes of department employees authorised as authorised persons. To be authorised, the person does not necessarily need to have a direct relationship with, or be working at or for, the particular school.
Examples of persons who the Deputy Secretary, SRS may consider appropriate to be authorised persons include:
- principals’ direct line managers in regional offices
- other senior positions within the department who are involved with government school administration.
The Deputy Secretary, SRS will consider a range of factors in deciding whether to authorise an individual person or class of persons. To make an application to the Deputy Secretary, SRS to authorise additional persons or classes of person or for further information, submit the to
Revocation of an authorised person’s power
While a principal’s power to issue, vary or revoke orders cannot be removed by the Secretary, the Secretary may revoke other persons or classes of persons authorised through the process set out above under ‘Authorising additional persons’. This can be made on request by a school, department staff or if the Secretary considers that an authorisation is no longer required or appropriate.
For example, an authorised person’s power may be revoked if:
- they are exercising powers under the school community safety order scheme (the Scheme) improperly or inconsistently with the Act and Guidelines and the Secretary believes they may continue to use their power in such a way
- there are allegations of misconduct
- the person no longer meets the requirements for authorisation, for example, because they have left the school.
Schools must request that the Secretary revoke a person’s authorisation as soon as practicable after becoming aware that the person is no longer required to be authorised or is no longer suitable to be an authorised person.
The Secretary may suspend an authorisation where it may be necessary to allow the department to undertake enquiries as to whether the authorisation continues to be appropriate.
Allegations of alleged misconduct, such as the misuse of these powers, should be raised in accordance with the department’s in the Teaching Service or the VPS. More information about making a complaint can be found in the department’s policy.
Reviewed 16 September 2022