The Council manages concerns about teachers breaching the Code of Professional Responsibility. This page explains our role, how the process works and the rights of the teacher.
One of the Council’s roles is to protect the safety of children and reputation of the profession by ensuring all teachers are fit to practise.
Teachers are expected to uphold the Code of Professional Responsibility | Ngā Tikanga Matatika. If there is a concern or complaint raised about an individual teacher breaching the Code, it is assessed, investigated if needed and action taken where necessary.
By proportion, complaints against teachers are rare. There are more than 105,000 practising teachers in New Zealand and about 80 people on average face a public Disciplinary Tribunal hearing a year.
What happens when a concern about a teacher's conduct is raised?
For information about each stage of the process please follow the links below. Cases are subject to resolution at any of the stages.
Stage 1: A concern is reported
Stage 2: Initial assessment of concern
Stage 4: Referral to Disciplinary Tribunal
For detailed information please read the Education and Training Act 2020 (Part 5, Subpart 4) and the Teaching Council Rules 2016. For matters notified to the Council prior to August 1 2020, see part 32 of the Education Act 1989.
Teacher's rights and support
Teachers accused of professional misconduct have a right to procedural fairness, including the right to answer and defend allegations made against them.
Teachers will have several opportunities to provide their own evidence, respond to allegations and may seek representation from their union, lawyer or other.
Council processes are guided by principles of natural justice and teachers have a right under law to appeal decisions of the Disciplinary Tribunal to the District Court.