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Statement from Governing Council

Alleged offending of a sexual nature by a teacher against a child from our school

On 14 December 2012, the Principal of the Norwood Morialta High School, Ms Panayoula Parha, notified the Governing Council, via its Chairperson, Mr Jeff Eglinton, of a police investigation arising from the arrest in May 2012 of a teacher employed at the school. The arrest of, and subsequent charges against, the teacher relate to alleged criminal offences of a sexual nature against a student from our school.

The Governing Council has been advised that the teacher was immediately suspended from duty at the school in May 2012 upon their arrest by SA Police. The suspension is in line with Department of Education and Child Development (DECD) practice and with the school’s and Governing Council’s philosophy that the protection of children is paramount. The Governing Council supports the DECD in its decision to suspend the teacher pending a full investigation of the matters by police and action before the courts.

The Governing Council believes that, as the teacher was suspended from duty immediately upon arrest, any potential for risk to the children at the school in relation to the alleged offending was minimised. Further, the Governing Council recognises that extenuating circumstances delayed the notification of the alleged offending to the Governing Council and the parent community until 14 December 2012. The extenuating circumstances have been explained to the Chairperson of the Governing Council and will remain confidential in the interests of child wellbeing.

As the matter is before the courts and procedural fairness must be observed, it would be inappropriate for the Governing Council to comment further about the alleged offences. You are urged, therefore, to seek support or information about this matter from the Principal of the school, Panayoula Parha, on 8364 2299.

Jeff Eglinton

Chairperson

on behalf of The Norwood Morialta High School Governing Council

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