Reporting a concern
Concerns about a teacher’s conduct or competence come to the Teaching Council’s attention in different ways. Find out when and how to make a report or complaint.
Mandatory reports from a teacher’s employer or former employer
Making a mandatory report is a legal obligation for employers.
The employer (or former employer) must make a mandatory report about a teacher in the following situations:
- Reason to believe teacher has engaged in serious misconduct – see the examples of types of serious misconduct that need to be reported
- Any dismissal of a teacher for any reason
- A teacher resigning 12 months or less after a conduct or competence issue raised – if a teacher resigned or their contract ends, and the school or centre told the teacher it was unhappy with or was going to investigate the teacher’s conduct or competence within less than 12 months before the teacher’s resignation.
- Complaints about teachers who recently left – if the school or centre receives a complaint about the conduct or competence of their former teacher, less than 12 months since after the teacher’s employment ended
- Competence – if, after taking steps to address the problem, the school or centre believes the teacher hasn’t reached the required competence level
Criminal convictions: self-report
When a teacher is convicted of a criminal offence, punishable by a jail term of three months or more, we must be notified to assess whether the teacher has breached the Code of Professional Responsibility | Ngā Tikanga Matatika.
A teacher with a practising certificate or LAT must self-report their conviction to the Council within a week of the decision. It’s not the actual sentence a teacher received that counts, it’s whether the possible penalty for the crime is three months’ jail or more. Failing to self-report could lead to disciplinary proceedings.
Teachers who have access to our online service, Hapori Matatū, please self-report online.
Those who do not have access, please use this self-reporting form.
The Council will also receive notification from the court about teacher convictions.
The Education and Training Act 2020 requires the Council to cancel a teacher’s registration if that teacher has a conviction for a specified offence and does not have an exemption. A specified offence is defined in schedule 2 of the Children’s Act 2014.
Complaints from the public
If you have a concern about a teacher’s behaviour or competence, their employer is your first port of call. They must be given a chance to investigate your concerns and attempt a resolution. The Council is not primarily a complaints service and we do not have jurisdiction to consider disputes between parents and schools or centres.
If you are not happy with how the school or centre has dealt with the issue, you can then raise your concerns with us if it concerns the conduct or competence of a teacher. In limited cases a complaint can be made directly to us without first taking it to the teacher’s employers, for example:
- The teacher isn’t currently teaching (has no employer)
- You have reasonable grounds to think a conflict of interest will prevent the teacher’s employer from dealing with complaint effectively
- It's an exceptional case.
- Your full name and contact details (you can’t make an anonymous complaint)
- The teacher’s name
- Details of what you're complaining about, backed by any relevant evidence
- If possible, the outcome you would like to see.
Sometimes we may become aware of a problem in some other way. In those cases, we can begin the conduct or competence processes on our own initiative. This is called doing this on our “own motion”.