Conduct and competency data - 2022
The Teaching Council’s purpose is to ensure safe and high-quality leadership, teaching, and learning for all children and young people. We do this by ensuring teachers are competent, fit to practice, and accountable for the way in which they teach and care for the children and young people they work with.
Teachers are expected to meet and uphold the Standards | Ngā Paerewa and Code of Professional Responsibility | Ngā Tikanga Matatika. If there is a concern or complaint raised about an individual teacher breaching the Code or not meeting the Standards, it is investigated, assessed, evaluated and action is taken where necessary. It is important that individuals wishing to make a complaint are aware that under the Education and Training Act 2020, the complaint must first be made to the teacher’s employer (school or centre) unless there are exceptional circumstances. It is also important to be clear that the Teaching Council only has jurisdiction over registered teachers as individuals, not schools as a whole or other employees such as teacher aides or support staff.
By proportion, complaints against teachers are rare. There are more than 110,000 practising teachers in New Zealand who play a vital role in supporting our children and young people to realise their potential and prepare them for the future.
The following data provides an insight into the conduct and competence processes of the Teaching Council for 2022.
N.B: Regardless of when the matters come into Teaching Council, the data below refers to matters processed during 2022. This is important as individual cases can span multiple years.
When a mandatory reports, complaints, self-reports, and police referrals is received by the Teaching Council, our Triage Committee makes an initial assessment before determining what the appropriate next steps should be. More information about the Triage Committee can be found here: Assessing a concern
In 2022, 653 complaints, self-reports, and police referrals were considered by the Triage Committee.
Of these, 161 cases were referred to the Complaints Assessment Committee, 25 to the minor convictions panel, and 27 to a Professional Practice Evaluator. The Triage Committee agreed to take no further action for 273 matters. The remaining matters considered by the Triage Committee are waiting for further information from the parties or on hold while external agencies complete their processes.
If the Triage Committee has immediate concerns about the safety of children and young people and the reputation of the teaching profession, it can seek a voluntary agreement with the teacher to stop teaching until the matter has been fully investigated and resolved. There were 9 instances where a voluntary Undertaking Not To Teach (UNTT) was agreed to in 2022. If an undertaking is not agreed, the Council will seek interim suspension from the CAC.
Complaints Assessment Committee
If the Triage Committee decides to refer a report, complaint, or make an own motion referral about a teacher to the Complaints Assessment Committee (CAC), investigators working on behalf of the CAC will investigate the allegations.
Between January and December 14, 2022, 202 reports from the investigation team were referred to the Complaints Assessment Committee Advisors for allocation to a CAC hui.
Between January 2022 and December 14, 2022, the CAC made decisions on 165 cases. Of these, 31 cases had a finding of misconduct. The remaining cases were made up of 52 cases of no further action, 81 were referred to the Disciplinary Tribunal and for 1 case the individual was found to have an impairment. 41 matters have been scheduled or will be scheduled for a CAC hui in in 2023.
More information on the Complaints Assessment Committee can be found here:
How does the Conduct Process work? Complaints Assessment Committee
The Tribunal is a quasi-judicial body which means it is a disciplinary decision-making body, independent to the Teaching Council. When a matter of teacher conduct is referred to the Tribunal by the Complaints Assessment Committee, a formal process culminating in a hearing takes place.
As of 15 December 2022, 72 cases had been filed with the Disciplinary Tribunal where the teacher has been charged with serious misconduct and/or misconduct.
Between February 2022 and December 2022, 55 decisions were received. Disciplinary Tribunal decisions are available on our website: Disciplinary Tribunal Decisions.
Please note there may be a delay from the time the decision is received to the time it is published.
More information on the Disciplinary Tribunal can be found here:
How does the Conduct Process work? Disciplinary Tribunal
One of the Teaching Council’s roles is to ensure high quality of teacher practice by ensuring teachers continue their professional learning and meet the Standards | Ngā Paerewa in order to be a competent teacher. The purpose of the competence process is to support teachers to build in an area they are not meeting the standards. Unlike the discipline area, this is designed primarily to be rehabilitative.
If there is a concern or complaint raised about an individual teacher’s competence, the Teaching Council will evaluate the concern and if required, make sure there are steps in place that will support the teacher to meet the Standards | Ngā Paerewa in a teaching context. It is important to be clear that the teacher’s employer (school or centre) is expected to take all appropriate steps to address the problem before reporting concerns of a teacher’s competency to the Council. It is also required for members of the public to make any complaint to the school or centre to allow them the opportunity to manage the concern before making a complaint to the Council.
During the 2022 calendar year 27 competence cases were referred to a professional practice evaluator at the Council. The Professional Practice Evaluators completed evaluations for 54 matters (which included finalising many cases referred prior to 2022) and referred 5 matters on to the Competence Authority, so 59 matters in total.
31 of the evaluation outcomes were no further action. 10 were referred to the employer to be dealt with through Rule 39 of the Teaching Council Rules 2016. 14 resulted in agreed conditions on the teacher’s practising certificate.
During 2022 8 teachers met their competence conditions.
The role of the Competence Authority is to consider mandatory reports and complaints in relation to a teacher’s competence along with all relevant information and the evaluation of the Professional Practice Evaluator. The Competence Authority is to consider all information outlined above in alignment with the Standards | Ngā Paerewa and to exercise powers given under the Education and Training Act 2020. The Competence Authority will determine whether a teacher has attained the required level of competence and make a decision as to what the appropriate outcome should be.
If a case is referred to the Competence Authority, the teacher will be notified and given an opportunity to provide the panel members with written submissions or appear in person. They may also request to be represented by a lawyer or other advocate throughout this process.
More information about the Competence Authority can be found here:
Reporting a concern
Anyone can raise a concern. If you have a concern about a teacher’s conduct or competence, the teacher’s employer is your first point of contact. The employer is expected to follow their processes to investigate your concerns and attempt a resolution. The Council is not primarily a complaints service and we do not have the jurisdiction to consider disputes between or within schools or centres.
If you are not happy with how the school or centre has dealt with the issue, you can then raise your concerns with us.
Information on how to report a concern can be found via the following links: