Professional Growth Cycle for principals, tumuaki and ECE professional leaders

Background and timeframe

The Teaching Council Matatū Aotearoa is pleased to introduce the Professional Growth Cycle for principals, tumuaki and early childhood education (ECE) professional leaders in all sectors and settings.

Following the implementation of the Professional Growth Cycle (PGC) for teachers and kaiako, we began to collaborate with a cross-sector working group of stakeholder representatives to determine the changes that could be made to appraisal for the renewal of practising certificates for principals, tumuaki and early childhood education professional leaders.

The working group proposed a version of the PGC for principals, tumuaki and ECE professional leaders. From a consultation survey related to that proposal and other conversations with the profession, the Council heard support for a process that shifts the focus from providing proof of meeting the Standards / Paerewa to one that promotes growth and engagement in professional learning networks. There was also a call for increased clarity regarding PGC roles and activities, along with some preparatory work to be completed to fully achieve the intention of the PGC across the profession.

For these reasons, there is a flexible timeframe for implementation that allows those who are ready to start their PGC now and others who prefer more preparation time, until 1 February 2023 to begin. In this timeframe, we will be undertaking work to:

  • support the building of valuable, sustainable networks for those who do not have one that they see can be used for this purpose, and
  • provide guidance to enhance the profession’s ability to give and receive peer feedback.

Intended benefits

The working group wanted the benefits from the teachers’ PGC that repositioned the Standards l Ngā Paerewa within every day holistic practice to be replicated in the Professional Growth Cycle for principals, tumuaki and early childhood education (ECE) professional leaders. This PGC would be a higher trust model with reduced compliance activity and placed value on professional learning networks where positional leaders can connect.

Focus on professional growth: Leadership Strategy Focus Area 3-Personalised Professional Learning

The working group discussed the array of employment expectations, regulations and requirements that are related to these roles and the diversity of those in different contexts (employment contracts, professional standards in collective agreements). It was agreed that the PGC would not constrain how these would be addressed.

Rather, the PGC would focus on the professional practice, supporting principals, tumuaki and ECE professional leaders to grow and learn in their role for the benefit of all learners in their setting. However, anyone who has an approach that they see effectively combines aspects of their performance management with professional practice, may continue that.

Next steps

The next steps for us are to:

  • hold further conversations with the profession to explore and understand how this PGC can be implemented for the greatest benefit to principals, tumuaki, ECE professional leaders and their schools, kura and services
  • continue work with our partner agencies to ensure we have clear, unified messaging for everyone associated with the professional growth cycle and other employment requirements
  • work in the targeted areas which require further guidance (to support the building of networks, and the collective abilities to give and receive feedback)
  • update the Endorser Guideline to include this Professional Growth Cycle
  • design and facilitate a range of webinars or presentations to share the elements of the PGC for principals, tumuaki and ECE professional leaders.

For principals, tumuaki and ECE professional leaders, it involves decisions to be made about any preparation needed for the PGC to be implemented and the intended timeframe. Further information to support your thinking and decision making can be found in the FAQs.

It is important to remember that this change is designed to support the growth and development of principals, tumuaki and ECE professional leaders as they undertake their complex roles in an ever changing landscape.

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Looking for Zoom webinars?

Register for a Zoom webinar about the new Professional Growth Cycle - available in English and te reo Maori.

Professional Growth Cycle for teachers and kaiako

The Professional Growth Cycle for teachers and kaiako has been implemented since 1 February 2020. Teachers, kaiako, professional leaders, principals and tumuaki have participated in over 100 webinars or face-to-face presentations to learn about the changes and share their insights and aspirations for how it is working in their setting.

 

Overview of the transition from Appraisal to Professional Growth Cycle for teachers (February 2021) and for principals, tumuaki and ECE professional leaders (now until 1 February 2023)

In 2019, during talks between the Government, PPTA Te Wehengarua and NZEI Te Riu Roa an Accord was developed. One element of the Accord committed to removing teacher performance appraisal as an accountability instrument, in recognition that in some settings the process had become burdensome. 

We had heard from many kaiako, principals, tumuaki and ECE professional leaders that their appraisal systems had become over-engineered and the compliance activity was onerous.

The Accord was an exciting step forward, and offered an opportunity to think about how to support quality teaching in a way that centrally positions high trust in the profession. The Council wanted to ensure that any change to performance appraisal benefiting primary and secondary teachers, would apply to Early Childhood Education Teachers as well. For this reason, the Council facilitated a cross-sector working group* to consider what removing performance appraisal could mean for teachers and to find new ways of supporting practice. It was important to remove unproductive compliance activities, reduce workload for teachers and enable a focus on professional growth, whilst still meeting the legal obligation that every teacher meets the Standards l Nga Pāerewa. The working group also recognised the strong need for a focus on professional learning, and created a set of elements to underpin the design of a Professional Growth Cycle.

A Professional Growth Cycle is intended to capitalise on the authentic learning collaborations between teachers that are likely to already be in place. The removal of performance appraisal will enhance the status of these collaborations and the role they play in supporting teachers' professional growth. Ultimately, this is a more holistic approach, focusing on how teachers use and meet the Code Ngā Tikanga Matatika & Standards l Ngā Paerewa in their everyday practice, as well as supporting professional learning and collaboration. 

A parallel working group for Early Childhood Education professional leaders, tumuaki and principals has completed a similar review of appraisal for these roles with a Professional Growth Cycle being announced in October 2021 for implementation by 1 February 2023.

Read our letter to principals, tumuaki and professional leaders announcing removal of teacher appraisal and introducing the Professional Growth Cycle (English)

Read our letter to principals, tumuaki and professional leaders announcing removal of teacher appraisal and introducing the Professional Growth Cycle (te reo Māori)

* The partners involved in this working group included:
NZEI Te Riu Roa, NZ Post Primary Teachers’ Association Te Wehengarua, Ministry of Education, NZ School Trustees Association, Te Rito Maioha, Te Akatea, Early Childhood Council, Education Review Office, NZ Kindergartens, Ngā Kura a Iwi o Aotearoa, Te Rūnanga Nui o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori, Montessori NZ, NZ Principals Federation, NZ Pasifika Principals Association, Secondary Principals Association NZ.

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