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Our Code, Our Standards - new professional guidelines created with teachers, for teachers

29 June 2017

The Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand has published the Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession following more than 12 month’s close collaboration with working groups from across the education profession.

“We’re calling this foundational document Our Code, Our Standards because it’s been created with the profession by the profession,” says Dr Graham Stoop, Education Council Chief Executive. “The Code and Standards articulate the expectations and aspirations of our profession, encapsulating the commitment teachers have for learners, their families and whanau, and the public.”

The Code sets out the high standards of integrity and professional behaviour expected of everyone in the profession. The Standards describe the essential components of effective teaching practice in New Zealand. 

The legislation that created the Education Council as the professional body for the teaching profession in July 2015 also stipulated that the Council replace the current Code of Ethics - which has not been updated for over a decade - with a new code, and that new standards and criteria be established and maintained.

From 30 June 2017, the Code of Professional Responsibility applies to all teachers who hold a practising certificate, and those who hold a Limited Authority to Teach. Although the Standards for the Teaching Profession will also be in place from this date there will be a transition period as teachers move from using the Practising Teacher Criteria to the new Standards. 

We encourage all teachers, schools, kura and centres to begin to use the new Standards for appraisal as soon as possible, ahead of their complete implementation by 1 January 2018.

For new graduates, the Graduating Teacher Standards will apply until such time as the Council makes changes to its Initial Teacher Education requirements, which we are currently consulting on.

“Together, the Code and Standards serve as a benchmark to guide everyday practice, act as a tool to guide appraisal, and provide a framework for lifelong professional learning and development,” says Dr Stoop. “Our Code, Our Standards are dynamic; they’re not just documents. We have created them with teachers to help teachers throughout their careers. To that end, we are continuing to collaborate with the profession to develop a suite of digital materials and resources that will be published later in the year.”