A Department in Need of Education – ongoing legal claims against the Victorian Department of Education for incidents of historical child abuse

The Victorian Department of Education has faced an influx of legal claims regarding incidents of historical child abuse that occurred in their schools.  It is reported that nearly 400 civil claims for compensation have been made against the Department over the past 12 years.  It is not known how many more survivors are likely to come forward in the future.  Despite the large number of claims, the Department is yet to issue a public apology for the incidents of abuse that are reported to have occurred in their schools.  Presently an apology is only available to survivors after the resolution of their legal claim.

Of the claims made against the Department, some relate to abuse perpetrated by convicted paedophiles, Robert Leonard Morris and Vincent Henry Reynolds.  Morris is known to have taught at various Melbourne public schools in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Now aged 71, he has been jailed for child sexual offences pertaining to six children.  It has also been alleged the Department was aware of Morris’ abuse but failed to take any action to stop it.

Reynolds is alleged to have abused young male students in the 1980’s whilst teaching at Victorian schools located in North East Victoria and Ballarat.  Now aged 78, Reynolds has pleaded guilty to incidents of historical abuse as against 38 children aged between 5 and 12.

One of Reynold’s victims (who cannot be named for legal reasons) received a record Court Ordered payment of $1,500,000.00 in 2020.  The survivor reported suffering incidents of abuse by Reynolds whilst he was a 10 year old student attending the Myrtleford Primary School in the 1980’s.  The survivor received compensation for his pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity and superannuation entitlements.

Do you need help?

Turner Freeman Lawyers has experience in representing survivors of historical abuse in civil claims as against the Victorian Department of Education.

We recognise that survivors of childhood abuse are strong individuals who deserve the right to seek compensation for the harm they have suffered. We also understand that it can be difficult to know which pathway is the right one to choose. It is important to speak with a lawyer who is experienced in institutional abuse matters prior to accepting any offer of settlement through the National Redress Scheme or civil claims process.

We invite survivors to contact our Sydney office on (02) 8222 3333 for a confidential and obligation free discussion to help inform them as to their rights and legal options.