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Minimising the unfair impacts of lockdown on student teachers

20 April 2020

 The Teaching Council is working with universities and providers of initial teacher education on temporary changes to practical experience requirements.

“We want to minimise the unfair impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on students training to become teachers, particularly those in their final year of study,” Teaching Council Chief Executive Lesley Hoskin said.

The Council is currently consulting with the Minister of Education about changes to our policy that sets out the requirements for programmes to educate student teachers. It is required by law to  consult with the Minister before any changes are made.

“Research has shown us the importance of effective practical experience. So, we are looking at flexible and pragmatic options that ensures graduates’ preparedness to teach but that take into account the current unprecedented reality of schools, centres and kura being in lockdown,” Ms Hoskin said. 

There will likely be a range of changes such as an overall reduction in the amount of practical experience required, how and where it takes place and the different ways it can be assessed. To safeguard the graduates’ future teaching careers we are also looking at creating a more structured and specialised induction for when these graduates enter teaching.

Beginning teachers ready to move to full certification will not be impacted unfairly by the lockdown, either. The Teaching Council will count teaching time online towards meeting the requirements to move to full or renew certification.