The Education and Workforce Select Committee is inviting submissions on the Education and Training Amendment Bill (No.2) and wants to hear what teachers think – by 18 February 2022. 

The two proposed changes to the Teaching Council are aimed at strengthening and clarifying some of our processes dealing with teacher conduct, while the third deals with teacher registration. The Teaching Council has been working on these changes for the last few years and have spoken with many in the profession, and key stakeholders, about the current system and how it could be improved.  

It's also proposed the purpose of the Council is amended to include a reference to settings that use languages other than English and Māori.

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Proposed changes

The Bill includes three changes to Teaching Council processes, plus changes to the Council’s purpose.

Streamlining disciplinary processes

The first change aims to streamline the disciplinary regime dealing with teacher conduct. There are two bodies in the disciplinary regimethe Complaints Assessment Committee and the Disciplinary Tribunal.

The Disciplinary Tribunal was intended to deal with the most serious misconduct matters but is currently dealing with many less serious matters, due to the current legislation requirements. This has meant that it takes longer to reach an outcome for teachers. 

The proposed changes aim to enable the Complaints Assessment Committee to take more cases, so that the Disciplinary Tribunal can focus on the most serious cases. The Bill also proposes to remove the requirement for the Complaints Assessment Committee  to reach agreement with the teacher and the initiator before it can impose a penalty. 

The Complaints Assessment Committee  is made up of teachers and is less formal than the Disciplinary Tribunal.

Clarifying prosecution of offences

The second proposed change clears up some ambiguity in the legislation, so that it's clearer that the Council can prosecute breaches of teacher registration and certification. The Council would then be able to  prosecute in situations where people are employed in a teaching position without a practising certificateimportant for child safety and quality of the teaching profession. 

Applying discretion when considering recent teaching in tertiary settings

The third change clarifies that the Council must use its discretion, rather than relying on an objective test, when considering the recent teaching experience of professional leaders (and other registered teachers) in tertiary settingsfor the purposes of renewing their practising certificates.

Purpose of Council to recognise settings that use other languages

The Bill also proposes changes to the purpose of the Council, to remove the term senior secondary (which is redundant), and to include a reference to early childhood services and schooling in settings that use languages other than English and Māori.

Other changes

Other proposed changes relate to:

  • school board elections
  • ERO review of professional learning and development services
  • compulsory student services fees
  • simplifying qualifications and other credentials.

Read and comment on the Amendment Bill

The Amendment Bill and the link to provide comment on the proposed changes can be found on the parliament website, here.

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