FAQs: Professional Growth Cycle
Removing performance appraisal requirements
Appraisal requirements for teachers and kaiako will be replaced by 1 February 2021. From 30 July 2020, the Council does not require teachers to engage in evidence gathering for performance appraisal. However, we note that in schools, kura, centres and services, professional conversations, classroom observations and other similar activities may continue.
We are about the start the work on removing performance appraisal for principals, tumuaki and ECE professional leaders but, at this time the requirements for their appraisal remain.
What does it mean to have a moratorium on evidence gathering for teacher performance appraisal?
As part of moving forward from appraisal, the Council will be putting a moratorium on the teachers’ gathering of evidence for the purpose of appraisal in place from 20 July 2020 to 31 January 2021. This is intended to allow time for the discussions and preparation of the new process to support the professional growth cycle.
This means we will not have any requirement for teachers to collect evidence about meeting the Standards l Ngā Paerewa. The professional leader, tumuaki or principal who is endorsing that a teacher meets the Standards | Ngā Paerewa will be making their judgment based on the teachers’ current naturally occurring evidence and appraisal evidence available up until this time.
If there is a concern that a teacher or kaiako is not meeting the Standards | Ngā Paerewa, evidence related to the concern, the professional learning support to address the concern and the changes in teacher practice will still be expected to be collected.
Will the audit of practising certificates continue?
There will be no further audit of appraisal for the issue or renewal of a practising certificate, previously conducted by ERO on contract from the Teaching Council. The Education and Training Act removes this requirement.
Does this apply to all appraisal requirements?
The parties to the Accord, and other agencies with responsibility for appraisal participated with the Council to discuss and agree on any replacement for the appraisal. The Secretary for Education will be gazetting new guidelines for the profession to replace the Performance Management Guidelines from 1996 with the Professional Growth Cycle requirements.
Does this apply to induction and mentoring?
The Council’s requirements for induction and mentoring for teachers moving towards holding a Tūturu (Full Category I) practising certificate remain in place.
Replacing teacher performance appraisal
What is replacing teacher performance appraisal?
During the second half of this year we would like principals, tumuaki, professional leaders, teachers and kaiako to design a cycle of professional growth for teachers, taking a holistic approach where using and meeting the Standards | Ngā Paerewa is embedded in everyday teaching. This reinforces the status of professional learning as a means to ensure our profession is future-focused and innovative in support of effective teaching for all learners. The design for that cycle will be informed by a set of elements. This Professional Growth Cycle would form the basis for teacher certification endorsement.
Who decided on this?
Following the Accord and the call from teachers to have the workload associated with appraisal reduced, the Council worked with stakeholder representatives from English and Māori medium settings across early childhood education, schooling and initial teacher education to consider what worked well and what needed to be changed. The elements were designed by that group. The group comprised:
NZEI Te Riu Roa
NZ Post Primary Teachers’ Association, Te Wehengarua
Ministry of Education
NZ School Trustees Association
Te Rito Maioha
Early Childhood Council
Education Review Office
Ngā Kura a Iwi o Aotearoa
Te Rūnanga Nui o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori
NZ Principals Federation
NZ Pasifika Principals Association
Secondary Principals Association NZ
Who will design new professional growth processes?
The principal, professional leader or tumuaki designs the process that enables the professional growth cycle for teachers in consultation with teachers. The Council requires the presence of the elements in the cycle but does not dictate what the professional learning cycle look like and respects the decisions of leadership team members to design these with their teachers. The Council supports a self-managing profession where co-construction, collaboration and place-based approaches can be implemented. The new system should reflect the ‘learning focused culture’ of each setting
What will this mean for my workload?
It should reduce any workload associated with compliance activity and instead focus on supporting your professional learning journey. In some settings where there was a ‘light touch’ model of appraisal in place it may be less noticeable. However, we know that there was additional work done based on our requirements e.g. for two observations, two conversations and a summary report that was not found to be valuable.
How much evidence do I need now? Do I need a portfolio?
As a teacher, you will have evidence that you use, create, and analyse to deepen your understanding about teaching and learning. The evidence may take the form of information, data, records, children and students’ learning and assessments, your own planning, teaching and learning. The byproduct of this evidence is that it also illustrates how you demonstrate the Standards | Ngā Paerewa authentically in your practice. The evidence does not need to be gathered or collected; it will be in its natural location. The Council does not need you to have a portfolio of this evidence.
As part of your professional learning, it is expected that you would want to keep feedback notes, any observation notes or other information that supports your learning. You should keep the summary statement of whether you meet the Standards | Ngā Paerewa.
How do I demonstrate that I meet the Standards | Ngā Paerewa or that I am likely to meet them?
Meeting the Standards | Ngā Paerewa is necessary for holding a Tūturu (previously called full) practising certificate. Being ‘likely to meet’ the Standards | Ngā Paerewa is necessary for holding a Pūmau (previously called subject to confirmation) practising certificate.
One of the elements highlights the importance of all teachers, kaiako, principals, tumuaki and professional leaders having a shared understanding of what ‘the Standards | Ngā Paerewa’ look like in each setting. For many schools and ECE services, the completion of a Quality Practice Template that indicates the practices required for ‘meeting’ has given teachers and leaders assurance of what this looks like in natural practice. We continue to advocate that template. It can also indicate aspirational practices and be the basis for how you can all ‘use the Standards | Ngā Paerewa’ valuably to talk together about teaching and learning in your setting.
What happens if my professional leader says we still have to do inquiry?
Understanding the purpose for that inquiry is important. Doing an inquiry specifically to meet the expectations of the professional growth cycle would be unnecessary.
Don’t we need to do a summary report?
The Council has heard that this is often unnecessary as it repeats information available elsewhere. All that is now required is a summary statement that confirms whether the teacher meets (Tūturu | Full Category One - previously called Full Practising Certificate) or is likely to meet (Pūmau | Full Category Two - previously called Subject to Confirmation) the Standards | Ngā Paerewa.
What will be important for me to keep if I move to a different job?
You should keep your Summary Statement, and it’s advisable to keep the feedback you have received if it is still relevant. Anything else relevant to your professional learning may be valuable to keep but remember you should not take information and data about your learners and their families or whānau.
What does this mean for casual relievers?
We are aware that teachers and kaiako who are casual relievers, principals, tumuaki and professional leaders often have questions about the practising certificate application endorsement for those who fulfil the important role of casual relief. The moratorium applies to these teachers or kaiako also. We understand that some people are in these roles while they await the opportunity to gain a longer term or permanent position and others are happy to remain in these roles.
It is our intention during the months before the change is implemented to explore with the profession how they can engage in some form of professional growth that is realistic to their aspirations and reflects the Council’s legislated requirements associated with the issue and renewal of practising certificates and ensuring quality teaching.
Renewing and endorsing practising certificates
The registration policy document Requirements for Teacher Registration, Practising Certificates and Limited Authority to Teach: Teaching in Aotearoa New Zealand Te Whakaako I Aotearoa can be found here on the Teaching Council website. It outlines the requirements for each practising certificate issue and renewal.
Where can I learn more about endorsement - who can be my endorser and what is the endorser’s role?
The Endorser Guideline can be found here on the Teaching Council website (please note this document is currently being updated to reflect the professional growth and annual certification cycles). It provides information relevant to teacher and kaiako applicants, principals, tumuaki and professional leaders as endorsers across a wide range of settings.
Does my endorser need to hold Tiwhikete Whakaakoranga Tūturu (a full practising certificate)?
Yes, if you are a teacher applying for the issue or renewal of any practising certificate.
No, if you are the principal, tumuaki or professional leader (or senior leader of a kindergarten, centre manager or licensee of an early childhood education centre, or senior staff member in an initial teacher education provider).
A review of professional leaders’, principals’ and tumuaki appraisal will commence in September 2020.
Teachers, kaiako holding Tōmua (provisional) practising certificates
The Council requires you to have a broad-based programme of Induction and Mentoring supported by a fully certificated (Tūturu) mentor teacher. There is an expectation that you will keep records of your participation in a programme to support your development as a teacher and as reference for your on-going learning. Engagement in this mentoring, will allow you as a teacher who has a Tōmua practising certificate (previously a PCT) to demonstrate that you are progressing towards and then, after a minimum of two years, meeting the Standards | ngā Paerewa. Records will also show the contents of induction and mentoring programme. This may include mentoring meeting notes, as well as evidence of more observations, and formal discussions than a fully certificated teacher and the summary report that verifies the teacher has met all the Standards | ngā Paerewa.
As a mentor, can I still ask my mentee to keep a physical folder?
That's because I'm a person who likes to see physical evidence in front of me at mentor/mentee discussions and things like that. It is fine to expect your mentee to keep a record of their participation in the induction and mentoring programme and their learning and developing practice. The Council is concerned that mentees sometimes recreate information or data as evidence or proof that they meet the Standards | ngā Paerewa. This is information that already exists as part of their everyday practice. The preference is that anything kept supports learning and is the basis for conversation. A rule of thumb being if it already exists in its natural place such as planning or assessment information, we would not want it to be replicated for the mentor.
The Council has heard from professional leaders and principals that some added clarity around endorsement decisions for teachers who are not meeting the Standards or Paerewa, targeted professional learning support for them and possible mandatory reporting would be appreciated. Additional resources for this are being prepared. A new option on our phone menu provides a prioritised service for principals, tumuaki and professional leaders.
The following should guide you as a professional leader, tumuaki or principal if you are concerned that a teacher or kaiako’s practice does not currently meet the Standards | ngā Paerewa:
1. The concern should be discussed with the teacher, with reference to the clear expectations (often recorded on a quality practice template) of what demonstrating the Standards | ngā Paerewa looks like in the setting.
2. Support for improvement should be provided and improvement expectations set.
3. If there is not sufficient improvement in the time period discussed performance management processes outlined in employment agreements would be complied with.
4. If no further improvement is made, you are likely to consider extending the formal performance management
5. If employment is terminated or the teacher resigns, you are required to complete a mandatory report.
When is a Mandatory report required?
Mandatory reports from employers – schools and early childhood centres are required to report to us about their teachers in certain cases—for example if they dismiss a teacher for any reason, or if a teacher resigns or a fixed-term position comes to an end after a conduct or competence issue has been raised.
What documentation should I attach to the Mandatory Report?
The documentation that you should attach will be any that is related directly to the area of concern. It is likely to include feedback from a professional leader, your own notes around the area of concern, any planning and assessment information relevant to the concern.
Initial Teacher Education
Why wouldn’t I still meet them now? During your Initial teacher education programme you develop learning and understanding around Our Code Our Standards Ngā Tikanga Matatika Ngā Paerewa and learn to use them during your practical experience placements.
By the time you graduate it is expected that through your assessment you will have demonstrated that you can meet the standards (in a supported environment). That is you are in another teacher’s learning space and working with their learners. You have the support of the school, learning centre/kura and all that they are doing with their learning of their learners.
When you are issued with a Tōmua practising certificate, you are expected to continue to use the Standards and meet them (with support) and move to full certification. You will have the support of an induction and mentoring programme and so will continue to develop your learning and understanding of the standards in the setting you are now in.
Specialist teaching positions
The Council recognises that there are teaching positions where teachers are not located in a single setting or whose professional leader may not be in the same setting as them. These will require some specific guidance as to how the professional growth cycle will work and it is our intention to liaise with teachers in such roles to develop such a resource.