Nearly 40% of teachers deregistered in Hong Kong last year lost licences because of sexual offences

Nearly 40 per cent of the 47 teachers deregistered in Hong Kong last year lost their licenses because they committed sexual offences, education authorities have said.

The second major reason for dismissals involved teachers committing other offences including common assault, possessing offensive weapons, incitement to commit criminal damage, unlawful assembly and rioting, which together accounted for nearly a quarter of the total.

The Education Bureau on Tuesday provided a detailed breakdown to the legislature of why it had cancelled the registration of 47 teachers.

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Seven teachers committed offences relating to child abuse, while another five were convicted of theft, fraud or robbery. Photo: Dickson Lee

The bureau “handles each and every case involving teachers” misconduct or unlawful acts seriously in accordance with the Education Ordinance and established procedures”, the paper said.

“If a teacher is found to have committed a serious offence or an act of immorality or professional misconduct, the [bureau] will cancel his or her teacher registration.

“We will not tolerate any professional misconduct of teachers,” the bureau warned.

Of the 47 cases, 18 teachers were deregistered for sexual offences, while 11 educators either committed common assault, possessed offensive weapons, incited others to commit criminal damage, took part in an unlawful assembly or rioted.

Seven teachers committed offences relating to child abuse, while another five were convicted of theft, fraud or robbery.

The bureau earlier revealed the remaining six cases were related to professional misconduct, but the teachers were not convicted by a court.

Three cases involved improper teacher-student relationships and other three related to disseminating or viewing pornographic photos or videos or publishing inappropriate messages online.

8 Hong Kong teachers deregistered for life in first 4 months of year

The number of cases last year was more than double the 21 recorded in 2022.

The bureau earlier said the rise in cases could be attributed to the implementation of measures in the 2021-22 school year, including criminal record checks on registered and permitted teachers every three years.

The bureau said in the latest paper that it would request schools take appropriate follow-up action after receiving complaints against teachers, including launching investigations, holding meetings with the accused and filing reports to authorities.

“The [bureau] has set up an internal task force comprising the ... directorate officers to comprehensively review cases involving teachers’ professional misconduct,” it said, adding it would analyse every case from various aspects in a professional manner.

The bureau said it could not estimate the processing time for cases as each one was different in terms of its nature, severity, complexity and evidence.

“It would not be appropriate to estimate the handling time for each case based on simple average figures,” the bureau said.

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