The recent passing of the Education and Training Amendment Act 2022 has resulted in some changes to our purpose, our functions and our disciplinary processes which we have actively sought and supported.

Our purpose was originally confined to English and Māori medium settings – it is now expanded to include other language settings. Our refreshed purpose, effective from 1 August 2022, is to “ensure safe and high-quality leadership, teaching, and learning for children and young people in early childhood, primary, and secondary schooling in English and Māori medium settings, and settings of other languages, through raising the status of the profession.” This change allows us to establish the most appropriate policy settings to support the growth of a Pacific bilingual and immersion workforce.

Our ability to prosecute existing offences under the Education and Training Act 2020 related to registration, practising certificates and Limited Authorities to Teach have been clarified. A new function confirms that the Teaching Council can prosecute where we consider such action is appropriate to protect ākonga | learner safety and the quality and reputation of the teaching profession. An example of this could be situations where people are employed in a teaching position without a current practising certificate. This change is also effective from 1 August 2022.

We have been working for the last few years to strengthen and streamline the disciplinary regime dealing with teacher conduct. The Disciplinary Tribunal was intended to deal with the most serious of misconduct matters but is currently dealing with many less serious matters. This is due to the current legislation requirements. This has meant that it takes longer to reach an outcome for teachers. The changes aim to enable the Complaints Assessment Committee to take on more cases, leaving the more serious cases for the Disciplinary Tribunal. The current requirement for the Complaints Assessment Committee to reach agreement with both the teacher and the initiator before it can impose a penalty is amended to require agreement with the teacher only. A new power of review of a decision of the Complaints Assessment Committee by the Disciplinary Tribunal is introduced. These changes will not take effect immediately but in 12 months time. This provides time for us to review the Teaching Council Rules 2016 which set out the disciplinary processes, and to consult with the profession and key stakeholders about changes to the Rules to improve efficiencies within our disciplinary processes, improve natural justice for kaiako | teachers, and better respect the mana of all persons involved in the processes.