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Updates about the removal of performance appraisal for teachers

Appraisal updates over the past year 

August 2020:

Read Lesley's letter about the removal of performance appraisal, sent to principals, tumuaki and professional leaders here. You can also read the Te Reo version of Lesley's letter here.

July 2020 update:

We are currently in the process of removing appraisal and will have more information, resources and documents to guide you through this process shortly. Watch this space!

March 2020 update - Work in progress: re-imagining appraisal

We should have progress updates to share with you soon in this space. In the meantime, read on for clarification of where things currently stand.

Schools and centres are free to design their appraisal processes and establish what works for them. There is no Council requirement for an appraisal system to include an inquiry, reports of PD or a portfolio of evidence – but inclusion of these things is up to your setting’s appraisal process.

The requirement for the Council to audit 10% of teacher appraisals is in the process of being removed from legislation. The Education and Training Bill is currently in the Select Committee phase and will soon progress to its second reading. 

We are working on a new system that moves away from a compliance-focus to build a high-trust culture that assures high quality practice. This means there will still be an element of accountability to ensure all teachers holding a full practising certificate meet the Standards/ngā Paerewa. We want the focus to be on teachers’ professional learning journeys where conversations about teaching and learning use the Standards/ngā Paerewa as a reference for quality practice that support all learners.

September 2019 update:

Have a question? Read our FAQs about this update. 

We recently hosted two hui with a mix of stakeholders to consider the removal of teacher performance appraisal as an accountability tool.

Although there have been benefits for teachers and learners from appraisal, we recognise that across the whole system it is not adding the value we expect. We are committed to creating an environment that rebalances our accountability to the public with professional trust. Further work is needed to consider how professional leaders will make judgments, how teachers will be engaged in processes that enable feedback and development and how the Council will provide assurance of quality.
The group has recommended that the legislation be amended as quickly as possible to remove the requirement that the Teaching Council audit and moderate 10% of appraisals used for the issue or renewal of a practising certificate. The Ministry of Education is now progressing this and we expect it will be part of a Bill that will be introduced to Parliament in November, to have affect in 2020.


August 2019 update:

As part of the collective bargaining between the Government, PPTA Te Wehengarua and NZEI Te Riu Roa, an ‘Accord’ was developed with the intent of building an environment where the teaching profession is highly regarded, sustainable, and fit for now and the future of learning. The Accord was ratified by PPTA Te Wehengarua and NZEI Te Riu Roa members. Please use this link to read more.
One element of the Accord commits to removing teacher performance appraisal as an accountability instrument, in recognition that in some settings the process has become burdensome.

It is the intention of the Teaching Council, NZ School Trustees’ Association and the parties to the Accord to totally rethink appraisal and the policies it connects to like renewal of a practising certificate. We intend to create policies that demonstrate professional trust, freeing teachers up to focus on their development journey.

This commitment offers an exciting step forward. We have begun the planning and scoping for how we will engage with the broader profession in the development process ensuring any changes we make will be for the whole profession, including the ECE sector. Some of the changes will be developed quite quickly whilst others, like a potential removal of the requirement in legislation to audit appraisal, will take much longer.

Right now, nothing has changed. However, it is timely to have another look at your organisation’s appraisal process to see if it has become overly compliance focused.

The Teaching Council would like to clarify what it expects for the issue or renewal of a practising certificate.
The issue or renewal of a practising certificate will be based on an endorsement made by the professional leader, based on the teacher’s participation in a system that includes:

  • an annual summary report that states whether or not the appraisee meets the Standards or Ngā Paerewa
    • the annual summary report is the only teacher documentation that is required for the purposes of the audit ERO undertakes on behalf of the Teaching Council
  • that appraisees have been observed once annually and involved in two conversations ideally with an appraiser who is familiar with the day to day work of the teacher
  • the Council has listened to the profession and accepts that one observation may suffice for fully certificated teachers.

We do not ask (nor do we require) to see copies of the annual summary report, or any evidence. We rely on the professional judgement of the appraiser and the leader making the endorsement.

While schools and centres are free to design their appraisal processes there is no requirement in law or by any agency that an appraisal system must include:

  1. an inquiry to be undertaken by teachers
  2. reports to be kept of all the professional development teachers do
  3. a portfolio of evidence compiled by teachers

The Quality Practice Template with completion guidelines is a valuable tool to ensure clarity about what the Standards for the Teaching Profession look like and how they can be used to inform professional conversations in your context.


For principals and tumuaki

for kahui ako