What is an extension to teach?

An extension enables a professional leader to employ someone in a teaching position while their practising certificate or authorisation is being processed by the Teaching Council. 

In New Zealand by law a teacher can continue to be employed in any teaching position without a practising certificate or LAT for up to 10 days (20 half-days) in a year. Beyond this, the teacher will need to be granted an extension to teach to teach lawfully. 

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Who is eligible for an extension?

A teacher who has applied to the Council for another practising certificate or LAT but there are administrative delays in the processing of the application which means their current practising certificate or LAT expires before a new one is issued. 

We will not consider applications for extensions to teach if the teacher is under assistance and guidance or the subject of a mandatory report or complaint that is being considered or investigated by the Council. 

Here are some other situations when an extension to teach might be appropriate: 

Extension to teach whilst completing a TER programme or a TER review 

When you submit your application for a practising certificate, you will be advised if you are required to complete a Teacher Education Refresh programme. You may be eligible for an extension to teach to allow you to continue teaching while you complete the TER programme or while any review of the requirement to do TER is underway. 

Extension to teach for relief teachers 

If you are a relief teacher, you may be eligible for an extension. Relief teachers only need to have one school’s professional leader approve an extension. One extension will cover you for teaching across several schools. 

Note: Extension to teach for Early Childhood Education (ECE) sector 

Whilst an extension can be issued to any teacher who meets the requirements, extensions are only recognised in schools where holding a practising certificate is compulsory. It is not compulsory to hold a practising certificate to work in early childhood settings. 

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Who can request an extension to teach?

The professional leader of the school or kindergarten must request an extension. 

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Requirements for an extension

  • Your registration number (this is printed on your practising certificate card) - this is required for Principals and Acting Principals 

  • The registration number of the teacher, or reference number for a beginning teacher who is not yet registered (refer to the acknowledgement letter/email sent by the Teaching Council to the teacher), or authorisation number for a Limited Authority to Teach  (refer to the acknowledgement letter/email sent by the Teaching Council to the teacher) 

  • The learning centre's Ministry of Education (MOE) number. 

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