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Special Authority

Board Policy

The Teachers Registration Board of South Australia (the Board) is committed to ensuring that the teaching profession is comprised of competent educators and fit and proper persons to have the care of children.

Pursuant to Part 4, Section 20(1) of the Teachers Registration and Standards Act 2004 (the Act), a person must not undertake employment as a teacher, principal or director at a school or prescribed service unless the person is a registered teacher.

Pursuant to Part 6, Section 30(1) of the Act, the Board may, on application by a person who is not a registered teacher, in its discretion, grant the applicant a Special Authority for an Unregistered Person to Teach (Special Authority). This restricts the applicant to teaching specific subjects and year levels at a specific school or prescribed service for a defined period of time. The Board will not generally grant Special Authorities for leadership positions in schools or prescribed services.

In some exceptional cases, schools and prescribed services are unable to secure the services of a registered teacher. This generally arises in geographically remote areas or subject areas where there is a shortage of registered teachers. 

In these cases, and only after every effort has been made to fill a teaching position with a registered teacher (including advertising the position externally), the Board may, as an emergency measure, grant a Special Authority for an Unregistered Person to Teach. 

If granted, a Special Authority will restrict the holder to teaching as per the subjects and fraction of time advertised. The Special Authority will generally restrict the holder to teaching at a single site, however the Board may consider granting a Special Authority holder permission to teach at multiple sites, but only at those sites nominated by the employer and only after each site had externally advertised the position.

Special Authorities are an emergency measure and pre-schools and schools should not rely on Special Authorities being granted. All applications are considered by the Board on an individual basis.

Duration of Special Authorities

Special Authorities are generally granted for a period of time not exceeding 12 months. However, once an applicant has been granted a Special Authority, if, within the period of their Special Authority, they provide evidence to the Board of their enrolment into a recognised teacher education qualification that will, upon completion, meet the prescribed qualification requirements for teacher registration, the Board will consider extending the period of the Special Authority for a further two year period (for a maximum total of three years).

An applicant who has their Special Authority extended in this way is required to provide to the Board evidence of their satisfactory progress towards completing their recognised teacher education qualification (ie. unofficial academic transcript). This evidence needs to be provided to the Board each semester.

The Board would consider satisfactory progress to be the successful completion of at least one subject/course per semester. If a Special Authority holder is unable to demonstrate their continued satisfactory progress towards completing their recognised teacher education qualification, the Board has the power to review or revoke the Special Authority

Applying for a Special Authority

To apply for a Special Authority, applicants must lodge an 'Application for a Special Authority for an Unregistered Person to Teach' form with the Board. There are sections of this application form that the employer is also required to complete. All applications are considered by the Board on an individual basis.

Subsequent Special Authority Applications 

To be eligible to be granted a subsequent Special Authority, an applicant must provide evidence to the Board of their enrolment into and progress towards completing a recognised teacher education qualification that will meet the Board's minimum prescribed qualifications requirements for teacher registration in South Australia.

With each subsequent Special Authority application, an applicant must provide current academic transcripts to the Board as evidence of their continued progress towards completing a recognised teacher education qualification. Successful applicants will be required to provide their transcripts to the Board each semester to demonstrate their progress towards completing the qualification.

Application Form