The Education Review Office (ERO) report, commissioned by the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand to assess how changes to programme's has shed light on how Initial Teacher Education (ITE), along with induction and mentoring changes will have positive impacts for beginning teachers, and sets a baseline for future comparison, while also learning from any early impacts.

Chief Executive Lesley Hoskin says, “we’re pleased to see some of the changes starting to emerge and ERO’s findings are an important reminder of the need for these changes to continue.” Student teachers from ITE programmes operating under new requirements set by the Teaching Council in 2019 are now starting to graduate.

Hoskin says, “Becoming a teacher is more complex than most people realise. It takes at least five years to become a fully certificated teacher who’s prepared to teach independently in the classroom.” This includes an ITE qualification and a period of at least two years of induction and mentoring where the teacher develops confidence, experience and continues learning on the job.

Hoskin says, “ERO’s findings are a timely reminder that the two-year induction and mentoring period is a crucial part of the journey to become a fully certificated teacher and that more needs to be done to provide support to new teachers and their mentors, centres, schools and kura.” Additionally, the findings also show that university graduate confidence builds over the period of their two-year provisional certification.

Universities are at the heart of ITE training, preparing the majority of future teachers, but the Council acknowledges ERO’s report has raised issues that warrant further investigation, and will look more deeply into areas identified in the ERO report to test, validate and identify steps that could be taken to ensure all beginning teachers are as prepared as they can possibly be.

As more graduates start their two years induction and mentoring programmes in schools, it’s expected there will be further improvements due to the changes we’ve made, including: 

  •  a greater amount of practical experience in centres, school or kura
  • testing a graduating teacher’s readiness through 10-15 discrete and observable Key Teaching Tasks that graduates should be able to carry out on day one on the job, and
  • introducing a final assessment (usually an oral presentation) where student teachers are tested on a complex teaching problem, assessed by a panel, including an experienced teacher or leader.

“While the confidence of beginning teachers is a useful gauge of new teacher preparedness, the actual final assessment of individual students that will be required for all programmes of study commencing from 2023, along with the national consistency of those assessments, will give us a more robust picture of new teacher capabilities over time”, says Hoskin.

Hoskin says the Council will continue working to strengthen ITE and induction and mentoring, by collaborating with ITE providers, schools, early learning services and the Government to achieve a system that is effective, provides assurance to both Government and the public, and is workable to implement.

New Zealand needs and deserves new teachers to be confident and well-equipped to meet the needs of all ākonga and the Council is committed to supporting this.