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July | Hōngongoi | Hūrae
CE Welcome
Examples in practice - The Code of Professional Responsibility | Ngā Tikanga Matatika
Teaching Council making service improvements
Progress on payments by instalments for a practising certificate or LAT
Strategic Plan updated
Planet says 'no' - the old plastic cards
Unteach Racism programme
Mirimiro our chatbot!

Kia ora koutou

June was a special month this year as we celebrated Matariki as a national holiday for the first time. I hope you enjoyed some much-earned time off over both Matariki and the Queen’s Birthday weekends.

Our new Strategic Plan for 2022-2027 has now been finalised and published. I’d like to thank everyone who contributed their feedback during the consultation period. 

It was also the last month for the Teaching Council's Governing Council of the past three years. Sadly, we’re saying goodbye to some long-serving members, but welcoming new faces which is very exciting. The 2019-2022 Governing Council have achieved so much during their term and the short video below outlines all their great mahi. I invite you to watch and see how much has been done.

Tāhuhu Rangapū | Chief Executive

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Examples in practice - The Code of Professional Responsibility | Ngā Tikanga Matatika

In the next few newsletters we thought we would share some of the examples that set the behavioural expectations for all teachers. The full document can be found at our website.

The Code reflects the expectations of conduct and integrity that we all share; what we expect of each other and what our learners, their families and whānau, their communities and public can expect of us. It is a set of aspirations for professional behaviour - not a list of punitive rules. It reflects the expectations teachers and society place on the profession. Upholding the expectations in the Code is the responsibility of each of us. If one of us breaches the Code, it can affect us all, changing how others see us and how the profession is valued.
The Education and Training Act 2020 makes it binding on all teachers and holders of Limited Authorities to Teach (LAT).
When teachers worked with us to develop the Code, they told us that the discussions around different scenarios were a great way to gather different perspectives and insights into what we should expect of each other. Therefore, we are beginning a series on the Code to highlight some scenarios for you to discuss with your colleagues.
What is serious misconduct?
Serious misconduct is conduct that

  • adversely affects or is likely to adversely affect, the well-being or learning of one or more learners; or
  • reflects adversely on the teacher’s fitness to be a teacher; or
  • may bring the teaching profession into disrepute.
  • is of a character or severity that meets the Teaching Council’s criteria for reporting serious misconduct (Rule 9) please see the link here
What is misconduct?
Misconduct described in any of paragraphs (a) to (e) and (k) of subclause (1) (of Rule 9 link above) may be—
(a) a single act; or
(b) a number of acts forming part of a pattern of behaviour, even if some of the acts when viewed in isolation, are minor or trivial.
How would I know if the behaviour or actions of a teacher constitutes misconduct or serious misconduct?
Read through the scenario below and then using the Code of Professional Responsibility information found here, identify what you think are potential breaches of the Code.
Scenario 1:
It’s been a rough weekend for the teacher... His marriage appears to have broken down, his car won’t start, and his super rugby team just lost in the final. On Monday morning, he is feeling decidedly dusty turning up to teach his year 5—6 class. As the morning progresses, all 28 children in the class are excitedly completing an enquiry activity which involves group work discussion. The noise is starting to become too much for the teacher after a weekend which involved quite a lot of alcohol. After using his usually effective behaviour management strategies to bring the working noise level down, one child turns to the teacher and says, “but we ARE doing our work!”. The teacher responds with yelling back “Sit down and shut the f**k up”. The class are noticeably stunned by what has just occurred.
The student sworn at tells the duty teacher at morning tea what has occurred.
An employment investigation is conducted by the principal, where student accounts of the event are completed. The teacher is asked about the incident and admits that he responded in a way that he usually wouldn’t but does not remember swearing.
Circle what you think could be potential breaches of the Code related to the scenario:
 Commitment to the Teaching Profession:  1.1     1.2     1.3     1.4     1.5
 Commitment to Learners:  2.1     2.2     2.3     2.4     2.5     2.6
 Commitment to Families and Whānau:  3.1     3.2     3.3
 Commitment to Society:  4.1     4.2     4.3
How did you do? Is this misconduct, or serious misconduct? Think about your reasons why/why not

 Example of an outcome for this scenario:
 Potential Code breach(es)  1.3     2.1
 Serious misconduct or Misconduct  Misconduct
  • Aggressive verbal language
  • One off incident
  • Not directed at one child
  • Teacher remorseful
  • Not emotional abuse as not sustained
  • Breach of Code but not a serious breach
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Teaching Council making service improvements

We understand that teachers have busy lives and need timely and accurate information from the Council. If you’ve tried to call or email us with a query in the last few months and experienced any delays in getting a response, we’d like to apologise. 

We’d like to share with you what happened and the steps we’re taking to ensure we provide an improved service moving forward.  

Every year we receive over 40,000 applications and 110,000 phone calls and emails from teachers. 

While our service performance in processing applications has improved significantly with the introduction of the online system Hapori Matatū – with more than 65% processed within five working days - our service performance in answering and responding to your phone calls and emails has significantly declined since February 2022 when the backlog of cases (that is emails sent to, web requests, and voicemails resulting from unanswered calls) swelled to over 4,000.  

The reasons for the backlog include an increase in call duration and complexity (average call duration has doubled and now exceeds seven and a half minutes), the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which have seen a higher-than-normal amount of sick leave for our contact centre staff, and the tight labour market which is making it challenging to retain and recruit kaimahi.  

We’re taking a multipronged approach to fixing the problem: 

  1. Everyone at the Teaching Council is pitching in to help – Contact Center, Registration, admin and management staff have been coopted in to answer teacher queries and to clear the backlog. Our kaimahi are working nights and weekends to bring the case load down. 

  1. We’ve recruited three new kaimahi in the last few weeks into the call centre, and they’re currently undergoing induction and training. 

  1. We’re actively monitoring and prioritizing enquiries to ensure urgent matters are dealt with first.  

  1. Information on our website is being updated, along with other online channels so that you can find answers to common questions whenever you need rather than when we are available. 

  1. Our online chatbot, Miromiro is successfully answering many questions from teachers and directing them quickly to different parts of the website. 

  1. Working to improve the usability of Hapori Matatū. Our online system is now two years old and over 75,000 teachers have successfully used it, but recent usability testing with teachers and principals and professional leaders shows there are several areas where the design needs to be changed so it is easier to use. We have commissioned those system changes and expect to see them come online in the next 3-4 months. 

  1. We are also reviewing the usability of our website so that it becomes easier for teachers to find the information they need in the form that they need it. We expect you will see incremental improvements to our website rolled out over the next 3-4 months as well. 

  1. Better insights. We’re developing better data and reporting on the issues that teachers are most commonly contacting us so that we can focus our efforts on the things that matter to you. 

Although we’ve only instigated some of these fixes so far, the backlog is now down to under 100. We acknowledge that while we’ve made some much-needed progress, there’s still much improvement work to do. We will provide further monthly updates on our progress in Matatū. 

We’re always open to feedback on the service you have received, and your responses help us to improve our service to all teachers – We would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to complete this quick survey: 

Click here to complete survey
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Progress on payments by instalments for a practising certificate or LAT

Recap: What have we done to date? 

In December 2021 we undertook a feasibility study to determine whether we could offer teachers the ability to pay for a practising certificate by instalments. The work included a survey of teachers to understand the level of interest and preferences for different payment types and frequencies. 

Of the 460 teachers who responded, 53% said they would be interested in paying fees by instalments, and of those, 35% preferred recurring direct debit or automatic payment direct from their bank account, with a further 31% preferring payroll deduction. Overall, 48% of interested teachers preferred to pay fortnightly. 

The study concluded that it was feasible for the Teaching Council to offer payment by instalments, but that there were some significant technical and cost issues that would have to be resolved before this could occur.  

During the 2022 consultation on proposed fee and levy increases for practising certificates and LAT, we sought further feedback from teachers on the level of interest and preferences for specific payment options. Of the over 900 responses received: 

  • 56% of teachers told us they were not interested in utilising any third-party financial service that offered the ability to pay fees and levies over a relatively short time frame (e.g. three months), with a further 16% being unsure. 

  • 49% of teachers told us they were not interested in utilising fortnightly payments by instalment, with a further 17% being unsure. 

  • 88% of teachers told us they were not interested in utilising any instalment payment option that incurred additional costs for teachers, with a further 9% being unsure. 


Further work is now well underway to develop an implementation plan and support model to identify and progress a preferred option/s for teachers to pay their practising certificate fee and levy by instalments. 

A number of potential options are being looked at in depth including buy-now-pay-later (e.g. AfterPay), 12 month interest free period on payment via credit card, monthly recurring direct debit over 12 months, or fortnightly payroll deduction (schools only).  

The Teaching Council will be looking to implement options that are accessible to the largest number of teachers, including those in the ECE sector from some time in 2023 subject to being able to resolve the technical and cost issues that have been identified. 

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Strategic Plan updated

We are pleased to announce that Our path to the future: Strategic Plan 2022-2027 has been finalised and published on our website.

Thank you to the teachers and organisations that provided feedback through the survey and submissions. As a result, we have a clearer and more focused plan. 

Why does this matter to me? - we hear you ask. The Strategic Plan sets out the vision, goals and priorities that will drive our workplan over the next five years. 

There are many opportunities for you to serve your profession by being involved in this mahi. For example, did you know that teachers make up the majority of members on our registration panel, complaints assessment committee, competence authority and advisory groups? There are also other opportunities to be involved in Council work for particular projects and improvements to our service. If you are interested, watch out for opportunities that will be advertised in Matatū or contact us at if you want to understand more about Te Whare o Te Matatū.

Click here to read the strategic plan
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Planet says 'no' - the old plastic cards

We’ve been getting some questions from teachers asking when they will receive a plastic card with their practising certificate details. Short answer is that we no longer send out plastic cards which is in line with many organisations looking to reduce their impact on the planet. Instead of plastic cards our online, digital system, Hapori Matatū, allows you to view, download, or print your practising certificate at any time as a PDF. 

To access your certificate, simply log in to Hapori Matatū, go to “My Profile,” (the person icon in the circle next to the bell), and from there you can select an A4, or wallet-sized version of your certificate. 

We know that old habits die hard, but as the headline says, planet says ‘no’, so apart from being quick and convenient, you also get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping save the planet by reducing plastic waste. The digital version of your certificate carries all the benefits and functions of the old, plastic card too. 

If you’re having trouble logging in to Hapori Matatū, or just need further help with accessing your certificate, take a look at our FAQ page, contact us, or even ask our chatbot, Miromiro, a question. 

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Unteach Racism programme
Start your Unteach Racism journey now with these four steps.
And sign up to the quarterly Unteach Racism newsletter for updates, messages from special guests, news, and articles relating to the app modules and racism in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Start your Unteach Racism journey here
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Miromiro our chatbot!
Click here to try out Miromiro
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