The Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand is the professional body for teachers. 

We work with and for around 150,000 registered and certificated teachers in New Zealand, in early childhood, primary and secondary schooling and in English and Māori medium settings. 

The Teaching Council’s purpose is to ensure safe and high-quality leadership, teaching and learning for children and young people. We do this by ensuring teachers are competent, fit to practice and accountable for the way in which they teach. 

The fees teachers pay to be registered and certificated fund us. 

Many professional bodies in New Zealand play a solely regulatory function for their members but the Teaching Council is more than just a regulatory body. 

Our functions are expressly set out in the Education and Training Act 2020.  Specifically, our responsibilities are:

  • to provide leadership to the education profession
  • to enhance the status of education leaders
  • to identify and disseminate best practice in education leadership
  • to provide direction for teachers
  • to enhance the status of teachers
  • to identify and disseminate best practice in teaching and foster the teaching profession’s continued development in light of research and evidence of changes in society and technology
  • to carry out the functions relating to teacher registration
  • to establish and maintain any criteria for teacher registration that the Teaching Council considers necessary or desirable and to review, vary, or delete the criteria for teacher registration
  • to establish and maintain standards for qualifications that lead to teacher registration and to review, vary, or delete the standards for qualifications
  • to conduct, in conjunction with quality assurance agencies, approvals of teacher education programmes
  • to establish and maintain:
    • standards for ongoing practice; and
    • criteria for the issue of practising certificates of different kinds
  • to establish and maintain a code of conduct for teachers
  • to monitor and enforce the requirements relating to mandatory reporting
  • to perform the disciplinary functions relating to teacher misconduct and reports of teacher convictions
  • to set the criteria for reporting serious misconduct and for reporting on competence issues
  • to perform the functions relating to teacher competence
  • to co-ordinate a system providing for the vetting by the Police of all teachers
  • to perform any other functions conferred on it by this Act or any other enactment.

The Council is one part of the education system and we work closely with teachers, leaders, education academics, the Ministry of Education, unions, associations and other education organisations. 

Registration and certification

We check teachers’ qualifications, teaching experience, Police vet, and that they are meeting the standards set for the profession. This is a way of ensuring quality of teaching.  Holding registration and a practising certificate shows the public, learners and fellow teachers that they are the best people for educating children and young people. 

Teacher capability and leadership and advocacy

We maintain and support teachers to use the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Standards for the Teaching Profession | Ngā Tikanga Matatika, Ngā Paerewa, review and monitor teacher training programmes, facilitate a vision for leadership through the Leadership Strategy, and more. 

As an independent body we speak up on behalf of the profession on big issues that affect teachers, for example physical restraint in schools. We use teachers’ expert opinion to influence legislation and policy.  

Managing teacher conduct and competence

We investigate when a mandatory report or complaint is submitted alleging misconduct or competence issues. This is to ensure all learners, parents, whānau, the public and the entire profession can be sure their children are safe, and the reputation of all teachers is safeguarded. Some teachers we support in a rehabilitative way to get back on track, some receive conditions on their practising certificates, while a few teachers face the Disciplinary Tribunal.  

What it costs for the Teaching Council to deliver its functions

We forecast the operating costs for the Teaching Council to deliver its core statutory functions will be $18.3 million for the 2020-21 financial year, broken down as follows:  

  • Managing teacher conduct and competence: $8.4 million per annum.  
  • Initial Teacher Education, teacher capability, leadership, policy and advocacy: $5.0 million per annum. 
  • Registration and Certification: $4.9 million per annum.