Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill

The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill was passed by Parliament on 12 December 2019. It amends the Education Act 1989 and enables the Minister of Education to issue a code of practice for the pastoral care of domestic tertiary students.

Previously there was no consistent approach to the welfare and pastoral care of domestic tertiary students. Events in 2019, including the death of a student in a hall of residence, highlighted the limits of the previous systems and processes in place for tertiary student welfare.

This Bill addresses the regulatory gap that existed for the pastoral care of domestic tertiary education students to ensure that these students live in a safe environment and have a positive experience that supports their educational achievement.

The Bill:

  • enables an interim Code to be put in place for the 2020 academic year
  • brings together a new regulatory regime for the pastoral care of domestic tertiary students with the existing regime for the pastoral care of international students
  • sets out arrangements relating to Code administration, monitoring, compliance and enforcement, offences and penalties, and dispute resolution

Following the Third Reading of the Bill by Parliament on 12 December 2019, the Minister of Education issued an interim Code for domestic tertiary students that will apply from 1 January 2020.

The interim Code sets out a general duty of pastoral care that tertiary education providers have for domestic tertiary students, and specific requirements for those who provide student accommodation.

In relation to student accommodation, providers are required to support the safety and wellbeing of students and improve the consistency of standards in student accommodation.

All tertiary education providers are expected to comply with the Code.

During 2020 the Government will consult on the development of a long-term ongoing Code to take effect from 2021.

Code of practice for domestic tertiary students (external link)

Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill (external link)

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