More than 70 State schoolteachers have been barred from classrooms in the past few weeks for failing to renew their registration with their professional body before it expired, leaving schools scrambling to find replacements for up to two weeks.

This year is the first time that all teachers who were foundation members of the WA College of Teaching have had to renew their five-year registration.

Teachers must be registered to be eligible to teach in WA.

The Education Department said it had alerted 101 teachers to the fact their registration was about to expire, but only 29 completed the process in time.

It told the other 72 teachers that they could not continue teaching until they renewed their registration or face a $5000 fine.

Their school could also be fined $5000 if they entered a classroom after they were deregistered.

A department spokesman said that, after deregistration, it often took teachers a couple of days to gather the required documents to re-register with WACOT.

Some teachers have claimed they completed their registration forms on time but the college lost the documents.

Roleystone District High School deputy principal Andrew Pheasant, speaking on behalf of new group Teachers for Justice, said he was de-registered on Friday after providing a full set of documents to WACOT three times.

"It's an absolutely ludicrous situation that we're faced with," he said.

Another teacher said she had been told to leave the school the day before her primary school pupils were to sit for their first national literacy and numeracy tests, two weeks ago.

She said she would not get paid for the time she was forced to stay out of school and still did not know when she would be able to return.

WACOT director Suzanne Parry was adamant the college had not lost teachers' documents. She said many teachers were confused about the difference between annual membership renewal and re-registration.

Teachers had been given several reminders and WACOT had completed 13,000 renewals.

Dr Parry said the majority of teachers whose registration had been cancelled should be able to be reinstated within a day of supplying their paperwork.



The West Australian

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