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Working with children
All pre-service teachers must be in possession of a valid Suitability Card for Child Related Employment (Blue Card) issued by the Queensland Public Safety Business Agency and this card must be registered with Student Services at QUT. Pre-service teachers must undergo a criminal history check and be issued with a Suitability Card (Blue Card) by the Agency before they are allowed to undertake Professional Experience in a site in Queensland. Pre-service teachers' Professional Experience placement will not be confirmed until valid Blue Card details are recorded on their QUT student record.
Placement in other states of Australia will also require a criminal check, which must be completed by the relevant state or national authority. A copy of this document must be lodged with QUT prior to any placement being undertaken. Pre-service teachers undertaking a Professional Experience placement internationally must be in possession of a valid Blue Card that is registered with QUT as well as any other requirements for working with children as necessitated by the placement site. Failure to do so will exclude the pre-service teacher from undertaking the placement.
Pre-service teachers must apply for (or register an existing) a Blue Card, with QUT 10 weeks prior to the commencement of the Professional Experience placement. If the Blue Card application or renewal is not submitted 10 weeks prior to the start of placement, a placement will not be sourced and the pre-service teacher should withdraw from the unit. Blue cards are valid for 3 years. Pre-service teachers must remember to check their card's expiry date and must submit a renewal 10 weeks prior to the card's expiry.
The application for this criminal check should be submitted through QUT HiQ Services. QUT students who have a Blue Card issued through another organisation or provider must:
- provide the Blue Card details to QUT; and
- advise the Agency that you are now an Education student at QUT by completing an 'Authorisation to confirm a valid blue card' and presenting it, along with your Blue Card and Student ID Card, to the HiQ Centre on your campus.
Refer to QUT student services and facilities web page for further information or queries concerning the Blue Card.
All valid Blue Cards (and interstate/territory and international equivalents) must be registered with QUT prior to placements being undertaken. Failure to do so will result in the withdrawal of the Professional Experience placement which may impact course progression.
The purpose of disclosure enables appropriate adjustments to be made to minimise a pre-service teacher's exposure to risk, to themselves and to others. Listed below are situations where pre-service teachers must disclose information:
An increased risk to themselves or others
A pre-service teacher's condition or capacity may increase the risk of injury to themselves or others such as having an active communicable disease and working closely with people.
A condition that will require adjustments to tasks
Preservice teachers may be undertaking tasks requiring adjustments for a disability, injury, health condition or pregnancy such as working with animals or children or chemicals; or physically demanding work or manual handling.
Preservice teachers who have specific religious or cultural requirements such as clothing which may interfere with safe use of equipment, are required to employ further safety measures.
Potential Conflicts Of Interest
Normally, you will not be placed at a site where there is a potential conflict of interest. The expectation is that you must recognise, declare and advise potential conflicts of interest to the PEO. Examples of different types of conflicts of interest that typically arise with respect to Professional Experience include, but are not limited to:
- spouse/partner/family members/close friends employed at the site;
- your own children or children of family members enrolled at the site;
- employment at the site in any capacity (Teacher Aide, employee in the OSHC service, casual teacher of music, drama, sports, etc.).
Professional expectations and responsibilities
The QUT Manual of Policies and Procedures (MOPP) has relevant reference points relating to student responsibilities and misconduct. These matters are taken very seriously and a range of penalties may be imposed for students found guilty of misconduct or academic dishonesty. Please refer to:
- E/2.1 QUT Student Code of Conduct http://www.mopp.qut.edu.au/E/E_02_01.jsp
- E/8.1 Management of student discipline http://www.mopp.qut.edu.au/E/E_08_01.jsp
Health and Safety
You need to provide your details to your site coordinator, supervising teacher and university supervisor.
Professional Experience Office
Telephone: +61 7 3138 3467
Fax: +61 7 3138 3049
Level 3, Room 343A, B Block
Faculty of Education
Queensland University of Technology
Victoria Park Road
Kelvin Grove, 4059