Ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul
Kia ora koutou,
This week is Māori Language Week. It's a time that myself and many others look forward to each year but of course it's a journey that teachers have been leading for many years now. I invite you to read the article in this newsletter that talks about this in more detail.
While it's been a cold start, spring is the season of new beginnings. I encourage you to read about the new law changes and what it means for you as a teacher – this is an area where we work hard to ensure teachers are treated fairly and the law is fit for purpose.
Excitingly, we are about to begin our offering in Rauhuia | Leadership space – have a look below for the details, but this is for all teachers and education leaders working anywhere across the profession.
A new season means there's a lot to share with you in this month's newsletter. I hope you get a minute or two out of your busy schedule to read about these important areas that are about you as a teacher, or you as a profession.
Rauhuia | Leadership Space serves as a tūāpapa | foundation, to help teachers unleash the power of their leadership in the lives of children, young people, and the community.
Rauhuia | Leadership Space aspires for all teachers to:
grow their leadership capability and lead through values
build new knowledge about effective leadership through partnerships
easily find and participate in a range of networks relevant to their learning goals
engage in work to address significant issues, advocating and participating in problem solving at local and national levels.
Matatū Aotearoa | Teaching Council is inviting you to participate in an online Rauhuia symposia series with experts in the field of leadership who will share examples from within the teaching community. The first four symposia will be focussed on mana oranga | well-being. These learning opportunities are for all teachers, not just those who currently hold a leadership role.
Details on the first two symposia are provided below.
Mana Oranga – Well-being Exploring concepts of mana oranga - well-being from an Aotearoa New Zealand leadership perspective.
Session 1: TINO RANGATIRATANGA ME TE MANA MOTUHAKE - Leaders make decisions about how to flourish in their context. Individual and community rights, professional, personal cultural and spiritual identities are protected.
Pānia Papa is a person of great and varied learning, she is able to navigate the space between te ao Māori and te ao Pākehā with ease. She is a well-regarded Māori language advocate, presenting regularly on Māori television and a former New Zealand national netball representative. She is a highly acclaimed academic, lecturing for over ten years at Waikato University in Māori and Indigenous studies. Pānia Papa is currently teaching on the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Masters programme and is a regular presenter/facilitator at Kura Reo.
Hans Tiakiwai is the current tumuaki of Nga Kura a Iwi in Ruatoki in the heart of Tūhoe country. All kura direction is based on uara | values and aspirations of Tūhoe. Hans will share an understanding of tino rangatiratanga and mana motuhake from a rural principal's perspective. Time: 4-5.30pm Date: 18 October 2022. Location: Online Click here to register
Session 2: WHANAUNGATANA ME TE AROHATANGA - Leaders have access to the skills, resources and support to navigate transitions, challenges and in ways that sustain well-being and build resilience.
Professor Meihana Durie is Vice Chancellor Māori of Te Pūtahi a Toi (School of Māori Knowledge) at Massey University where he engages in research, teaching and community-oriented work around cultivating transformative outcomes for whānau, and Māori communities. He was previously based at Te Wānanga o Raukawa where he helped establish Ngā Purapura, an iwi-driven initiative built around high-performance sport, exercise and Māori health education.
Te Kura o Ōtaki is a unique school nestled between te maunga o Tararua and Ōtaki Beach, offer two pathways to learning, a total immersion reo Māori learning pathway and a bi-lingual learning pathway. Yvonne Tahere, Deputy Principal and Janeen Marino, Assistant Principal share a strong relationship and leadership style of whanaungatanga me te aroha in service of providing for their school community within Te Rohe o Ngāti Raukawa.
New law changes: amendment to the Teaching Council’s purpose in the ETA 2020
A recent amendment to the Education and Training Act 2020 has clarified that the Council has a mandate to ensure safe and high-quality leadership, teaching and learning in other language settings, in addition to English and Māori-mediums. The Council sought this amendment so that we could more easily progress our work to support Pacific education, including priorities aligned with overall education sector goals to grow and strengthen Pacific bilingual and immersion education pathways.
With this expansion of our mandate, the Council can now begin work on a review of the policy settings for our Language competency for teaching in Aotearoa New Zealand requirements. This will allow us to explore the best options for amending these to support bilingual and immersion pathways for Pacific languages. The policy review will also look to “future-proof” our requirements to ensure that future developments for settings seeking to teach in other languages can also be accommodated.
During the policy review process, we will be seeking advice and guidance from the Council’s Pacific Education Steerage Group as well as engaging widely with the teaching profession, stakeholders, and communities with an interest in this work.
The Council also considers exemption requests where an applicant is not able to provide evidence as outlined in the requirements. ITE providers make exemption requests on behalf of applicants to their programmes. However, if you are seeking teacher registration, you can make an individual application to our language competency panel who considers ITE provider and teacher requests for exemption.
Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry: the role of the Teaching Council
You might be aware of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care that held public hearings from 15 August to 26 August. The inquiry was concerned with what happened to children, young people, and vulnerable adults in Aotearoa New Zealand from 1950 to 1999.
You can read more about the inquiry at the Commission’s homepage. To learn more about the Teaching Council’s role and involvement, click the button below.
One of these standards is titled, “Te Tiriti Partnership.” This standard explains how teachers are expected to improve their understanding and competency in te reo ngā tikanga Māori. This was incorporated into a new policy for teacher registration and certification in 2019 after a period of consultation with the profession. During consultation, the majority of teachers stated that ongoing development in te reo ngā tikanga Māori is a key part of high-quality professional practice.
These expectations don’t demand a specific level of fluency. Instead, they are a requirement for each teacher to develop and grow their competency in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori as part of an ongoing journey. It is the same requirement for all six standards. The level of competence may vary and is determined by the experience of the teacher and where they are teaching. What is expected is that a teacher is continuing to learn and grow.
Since these expectations were introduced, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Only a very small percentage of teachers, approximately 1% (317 teachers) last year, were found to not be meeting these requirements. We understand that there can be several reasons for this, such as a teacher may have only recently moved to Aotearoa New Zealand, or spent a considerable period away from teaching, or perhaps they are only an occasional relief teacher and don’t have the same opportunities or requirements as a full-time teacher. In these cases, the Teaching Council works closely with that teacher’s principal or professional leader to make sure they get the support they need and will ultimately have their practising certificate renewal approved. To further support teachers in this journey, Te Ahu o te reo Māori was launched in 2021. It is a te reo programme designed specifically for the education sector and is free for teachers. You can learn more about Te Ahu o te reo Māori here.
Teachers have led in this space for many years. We see the results of this mahi every day across Aotearoa New Zealand; for instance, in the media, government services, and private enterprises where use and understanding of te reo Māori has increased significantly in recent years.
The vast majority of teachers have put cultural competency at the heart of their practice. We are proud of the progress made across the profession. However, we understand that all teachers are different and are at different stages in their journey so we are committed to working together with the profession so we can best help teachers grow in this area.
The disciplinary process for teachers: by the profession, for the profession
Every day, the teachers and professional leaders of Aotearoa New Zealand work hard to provide high-quality learning and a safe environment for our children and young people.
The teaching profession holds itself to high standards. The current system for handling matters of teacher conduct is the product of years of consultation and development with the profession that continues to be improved to this day. On the rare occasion when a teacher’s conduct is called into question, it is the teacher’s peers who hold them to account.
In this article we’ll take a brief look at the roles of two of the main bodies involved in matters of teacher conduct: the Complaints Assessment Committee (CAC) and the Disciplinary Tribunal (DT).
Both the CAC and DT are independent bodies, separate from the Teaching Council. Having independence is critical for objectivity and maintaining natural justice. What’s also critical is that the current disciplinary system was created by the profession and is run by the profession. CAC and DT panel members come from across the profession (ECE, primary, and secondary), and in the case of the DT, is chaired by an experienced lawyer.
Many cases don’t need to go to either of these bodies. The disciplinary process starts at the Teaching Council’s Triage Committee which also includes several experienced, registered teachers. The Triage Committee will decide if a matter needs further action or not.
When does the CAC get involved?
Allegations of misconduct go to the CAC. Investigators from the Teaching Council investigate on its behalf, but it is the CAC panel itself which decides the outcome. Before proceedings begin, enquiries are made of the teacher and panel members to ensure there are no conflicts of interest. The teacher involved is then encouraged to meet and interview with the CAC. The CAC can reach several possible outcomes. If the allegations involve serious misconduct, the CAC must refer the case to the DT.
How the DT operates
The DT is a quasi-judicial body. Its proceedings, including the hearing, are formal and are conducted like a court where the CAC acts as the prosecutor. DT hearings are open to the public unless ordered private. If the teacher and CAC agree on the facts of the case, the Tribunal can make a decision “on the papers.” This simply means that no one is required to appear in person. Instead, the DT will make their decision after all submissions and evidence have been presented. This can save time and reduce costs.
The CAC, DT, and the entire disciplinary system itself, are examples of the importance of the profession regulating itself. The system is always evolving. The recent passing of the Education Act 2022 will add several new changes next year, and we are constantly involved in discussions with the profession on how to improve and streamline disciplinary procedures. You can learn more about the CAC, DT, and the entire disciplinary system, as well as how to make feedback and suggestions at our website.
Examples in practice - Ngā Tikanga Matatika | The Code of Professional Responsibility
This is the second scenario in our Examples in Practice - Ngā Tikanga Matatika | The Code of Professional Responsibility series. To read the guide on what constitutes misconduct or misconduct, click the button below.
It is a long weekend coming up and the school is lucky enough to have a marae on site complete with wharekai, wharenui, and adjoining portable classrooms. Although the beginning teacher didn’t think they had any visitors for the weekend, they suddenly get a message that extended family are planning to stay at the teacher’s house for two nights.
The school principal, who you would usually ask for permission to use the marae facilities is away, and in the lead up to the long weekend the teacher is not sure who to ask. The keys for the marae are inside the front reception and the booking sheet shows the marae is not booked for the weekend.
The beginning teacher takes the keys and has an awesome time accommodating family for the weekend. At the conclusion of the weekend, the teacher puts the keys back and decides not to tell the principal they used the facility since you are meant to ask permission first.
The next month, the school receives quite a large electricity bill which shows a peak in the weekend the beginning teacher had used the facilities for. When the administration checks, there is no booking for that weekend.
What do you think could be potential breaches of the Code | Ngā Tikanga Matatika related to the scenario?
What are your thoughts? Is this misconduct, or serious misconduct? Think about your reasons why/why not.
Self reporting a conviction: what you need to know
Self-reporting is an important part in making sure our children and young people are learning in a safe environment with teachers who are upholding Ngā Tikanga Matatika mō te Haepapa Ngāiotanga | Code of Professional Responsibility and Ngā Paerewa mō te Umanga Whakaakoranga | Standards for the Teaching Profession.
We do receive information from the courts about convictions, as well as information provided in a police vet, but if a teacher with a practising certificate, or LAT (Limited Authority to Teach), is convicted of a criminal offence punishable by a jail term of three months or more, they must self-report this conviction to the Teaching Council within a week of the decision. This is in accordance with s4943 of the Education and Training Act.
It’s not the actual sentence that counts, but whether the possible penalty for the crime is three months’ jail time or more. Failing to self-report such a conviction could lead to disciplinary proceedings.
Teachers with access to our online service, Hapori Matatū, can self-report online. For those without access, you can use this self-reporting form.
If you are unsure about whether you might need to self-report, you can contact the Teaching Council at our email address, or our contact centre.
The Policy Dashboard provides an overview of recent Teaching Council policy development, the wider education sector policy development and law reform, by providing a snapshot of policies, submissions, analysis, and recommendations. This is one of the important roles we play, on behalf of the profession. We've revised last month's policy dashboard. Please click on the link below to see the August dashboard.