Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

COVID-19 Updates

Updated 27 March 8am

On this page

How are Teaching Council services impacted?

Open letter to PM

Quick links and resources

Just as you will be, at the Council we’re getting used to a rapidly changing new ‘normal’. Since the announcement of the move to Alert Level 4 for four weeks to combat the spread of COVID-19, we’ve all been working hard to prepare. Council staff are ready, willing and able to do their best.

How are Teaching Council services impacted?

Our office will be closed and the way we’re able to deliver our services to teachers will temporarily change – we thank you for your kindness and patience as we learn to work in this new way. These changes will be constantly under review to make sure our services can continue, but also keep everyone safe. We have the ability to deliver core services from staff working at home.

Registration and certification - late fees waived/refunded

There’s a lot to work through and some details of how things will proceed during the lockdown have not yet been confirmed – we will continue to update you as details become available.

Late fees will be waived from March 25 until June 30.

Any application (i.e. for registration, certification or certification renew) received as of Tuesday March 24 will be processed and assessed as normal.

Extensions will be approved as normal if requested.

If you need to renew your certification please use our online application system EC30 Online. It’s faster and easier. If you are prompted to pay a late fee, you will be refunded by the Council.

Please hold off sending any paper applications as there is no one available to receive them at Council offices. We will have a further update on how to submit these to us as soon as possible.

Contact Centre – email us

With our office now closed for COVID 19 isolation, there are likely to be longer waits but we are working on responding to your questions and concerns.

Please prioritise sending us an email to enquiries@teachingcouncil.nz as they’re easier and quicker for our staff working from home to respond to. However, if you would rather call, please be aware you may need to leave a voicemail. We will respond as soon as we can.

Conduct and Competence - moving online

To ensure teachers are not impacted longer than necessary, all our panels will continue operating: this includes the Complaints Assessment Committee, Competence Authority, Registration Panel and Disciplinary Tribunal. If you do not wish to engage at this time, please get in touch.

There will of course, be no face-to face interactions. If a teacher wishes to engage with us in person, the meeting will be postponed until it is safe to do so again. If teachers are comfortable meeting with a panel via Skype or their hearing is already scheduled as “on the papers”, we will make arrangements for these to happen as soon as possible.

Other than necessary communication, our conduct and competence teams will be reducing their communications with teachers so they can concentrate on supporting their learners, schools, centres, kura and whanau at this time. Any teacher who would like an update on their case, please email the Council at competence@teachingcouncil.nz or conduct@teachingcouncil.nz

ITE Providers

We have a separate newsletter providing updates for Initial Teacher Education providers. If you wish to follow these please email news@teachingcouncil.nz to subscribe.

Open letter

On Monday we sent an open letter to Prime Minister Ardern asking for action to close, kura, centres and schools to combat the spread of the disease

Many teachers came to us as their professional body to speak up for schools, kura and centres to be closed. We’re aware that not every teacher wanted this, but the concerns of teachers who came to us detailing the reality of how difficult things had become for them could not be ignored. We know you were prepared to continue to go to work and do what was needed – because being there for children and young people is engrained in what it means to be a teacher – but many were worried about their leaners, their own health and wellbeing and that of their families. 
 
By no stretch of the imagination do we think we are health officials or pandemic response experts and absolutely defer to their advice. However, we were expressing the concerns of the teaching profession to the highest office, because our role is to ensure decision-makers have all the information they need to make well-rounded choices. I hope you felt the letter was respectful and professional; acknowledging the Prime Minister is leading in incredibly difficult times.
 
No decision has been taken lightly by our Government and every difficult decision has repercussions that will be felt by all. On Monday the Government made the courageous decision to move to COVID-19 Alert Level 4. So, these are extraordinary times we all find ourselves in, which requires equal doses of extraordinary leadership, kindness and calm from us all.
 
Already we’ve seen on social media platforms teachers offering their teacher expertise to their friends and family who are at home with their children. This is incredibly kind! Please take care to not spread yourself too thin during this time – take care of yourself, your family and loved ones.

Quick links and resources

The issues below (employment, salary, curriculum) fall outside the Teaching Council’s roles and responsibilities, but here are some quick links and resources to help you navigate and find information you are looking for. All advice and information below is based on current information from Government agencies and organisations. Keep checking these websites for up to date information:

For information and advice for schools, centres, students, whānau, and the education sector please regularly check the Ministry of Education website

Please refer to the Ministry of Education for health information 

The Government has a dedicated website for all other information and advice

Funding and payments

Schools and early childhood centres are closed from Wednesday 25 March for at least four weeks.

The Government has said it will continue to fund education as normal through this period and people should continue to be paid.

ECE: government funding will continue as normal during shutdown

Early learning services can also apply for COVID-19 wage subsidies and leave payments

Primary and secondary teachers: all staff should be paid for days and hours they normally would 

Day relievers will be paid for the number of days they would usually work (the PPTA website and NZEI website have helpful information on this)

Day relievers who do not have a school you usually work with please contact employment.relations@education.govt.nz

Learning and teaching from home

This newly set up website contains advice and resources for parents and whānau, teachers and leaders across all sectors.

Getting ready for learning from home – advice for teachers: specific advice and information for principals, leaders and teachers from all sectors

Kauwhata Reo website: if your tamaiti is learning te reo Māori or you would like resources in te reo Māori.
 
Wellbeing: tips on maintaining health, safety and wellbeing
 
Resources for creating guidelines for parents and whānau
 
Resources for home learning literacy, maths and science:
            Years 1- 4
            Years 5 - 8
            Years 9 - 13
 
The Ministry of Education is also developing resource kits for children who are identified as likely to require additional learning resources at home.

Wellbeing

Focus on connections and feelings of safety with your children, whānau and partners.  

Unite against COVID-19: Looking after your mental wellbeing

Mental Health Foundation top tips to get through

  • Find ways to connect: online games, virtual book club, video-catchups
  • Find ways to take notice: notice the change of seasons, admire beautiful foliage or flowers
  • Find ways to get active: play the floor is lava!, go for walks, use your canned beans as arm weights
  • Spend time with nature: open the windows as often as you can, listen to nature sounds (birdsong is lovely!) 
  • Start a new routine
  • Explore different ways to relax: get creative!   

Community based support (phone-based)

  • Anxious/depressed: text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor 24/7
  • Depression Line: 0800 111 757
  • Alcohol and Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797
  • Family Violence info line: 0800 456 450
  • Health line: 0800 611 116
  • Lifeline Aotearoa nationwide: 0800 543 354
  • Warmline (Mental Health Peer Support): 0800 200 207
  • Victim Support: 0800 842 846
  • Outline: LGBTIQ- affirming support line and face to face counselling- 0800 688 5463
  • Suicide crisis helpline: 0508 828 865
  • Anxiety phone line: 0800 269 4389