A victim of a Tasmanian paedophile teacher wants any Department of Education staff who were aware of sexual abuse and did not adequately report it to face relevant criminal prosecution for failing mandatory reporting obligations.
It follows details from an independent inquiry into the department's historic handling of sexual abuse which showed "significant uncertainty" among principals and support staff about notifying Tasmania Police of allegations.
The department was also shown to place concerns about "legal, financial, and reputational risk" as its main priority in responding to abuse allegations, rather than child safety.
A victim of abuse carried out by convicted paedophile teacher Anthony Leclerc while he worked at Grassy Primary School on King Island said the failure of authorities to report allegations had resulted in more victims.
The victim said there was evidence that the department knew of the allegationswhen it transferred Leclerc, and that anyone who failed to act should face consequences in his, and similar, cases.
"I don't think the Education Department and others realise that when they don't investigate these paedophiles, not only are they not protecting students, they're not protecting children in the wider community," he said.
"They let him walk free and didn't worry about investigating him.
"If you take Catholic priests as a precedent, who were harangued and called to account for why they acted in a certain way, this should be no different. They looked into it far and wide about how these priests were protected by their bosses."
Tasmania has had a form of mandatory reporting since the Child Protection Act was implemented in 1974, and strengthened in 1997.
The man is part of a lawsuit being carried out by Angela Sdrinis regarding the conduct of Leclerc and the department's alleged failure to act on knowledge of abuse before and after his transfer.
He said he was supportive of the independent inquiry's 21 recommendations, including greater teacher training at university to understand and prevent sexual abuse in schools. The government has committed to implementing all recommendations.
Two of five Code of Conduct investigations concluded
The Education Department has launched five Code of Conduct investigations stemming from matters raised in the independent inquiry, two of which have concluded without "evidence of sexual misconduct" found.
The two employees have recommenced work, with the remaining three suspended from work while the investigations are carried out.
IN OTHER NEWS:
The government released the findings and recommendations from the independent inquiry on Tuesday, but not the full report. The released document starts at page 74, but the full report was released to a media outlet under Right to Information on the same day.
Labor leader Rebecca White questioned Education Minister Sarah Courtney about a portion of the main report, which included that 41 "currently-serving Department of Education employees" have "some record of concern", including three principals.
Of those, 21 cases were assessed as "requiring a more detailed review and possible further investigation".
Ms Courtney said this had occurred, resulting in the five Code of Conduct investigations.
"As part of the secretary's review of historic allegations of abuse made by current employees, each matter has been reviewed in turn and a decision made about what further action needs to be taken," she said.
"Actions include ensuring all matters have been reported to relevant authorities including Tasmania Police and working with vulnerable people, confirming that historic investigations have been thoroughly conducted and, where necessary, conducting new investigations of potential breaches of the State Service Code of Conduct with staff under investigation being suspended from duty pending an outcome."
A Tasmania Police spokesperson said it had implemented initial investigation and notification of child sexual abuse guidelines, a working with vulnerable people protocol and a memorandum of understanding between police and Child and Family Services.
An MOU between Tasmania Police and the Education Department is also being developed.