The Training Schools Act 1867 also known by its full title "An Act to encourage the Establishment of Training Schools" (Act no. 31 Vict.No.36) established the Training School system in Tasmania. This legislation was repealed in 1896 by the Youthful Offenders, Destitute and Neglected Children Act 1896 (Act no. 60 Vict No.24) and underwent two significant amendments throughout its lifetime.
This legislation provides details about who can be sent to a Training School, minimum and maximum terms of detention at a Training School, release from Training Schools, Inspection of Training Schools and punishment, including hard labour, for children who run away or 'misbehave' whilst detained in a Training School. Children detained in a Training School could also be apprenticed or allowed to live outside of the Training School with a 'trustworthy and respectful person'. The legislation also details access to the Training School of religious practitioners to administer religious instruction, as well as the financial responsibilities of parents or guardians of children detained in a Training School.
Under this legislation Training schools were to be certified by the Colonial Secretary, this certificate could also be revoked by the Colonial Secretary. Any building works or alterations had to be passed by the Colonial Secretary as did any rules for the management of children detained at the school.
Although this legislation enabled Training Schools to refuse to take a child, once a child was accepted in a Training School the Training School had to educate, clothe, lodge and feed that child for the entirety of their mandated detention. The Colonial Secretary could move a child from one Training School to another, and in the event of a Training School closing the Colonial Secretary could discharge children or move them to another Training School.
Sources used to compile this entry: Daniels, Dennis, 'Social welfare', in The companion to Tasmanian history, Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/S/Social%20welfare.htm; Law Research Service, Melbourne Law School, Law Library, The University of Melbourne. 'Find and Connect Project - Tasmanian Legislation', 20 January 2014, held in the project files at the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans and Elizabeth Daniels
Created: 14 March 2011, Last modified: 9 October 2015