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Discretionary pathway for overseas teachers

Discretionary pathway for overseas teachers

Your NZQA report may state that your qualifications are not comparable to a recognised New Zealand teaching qualification. The discretionary application pathway allows your qualifications, teaching experience, appraisal material and professional development to be taken into consideration to determine if you can be granted registration as an exception to the policy. Please allow additional time for your application to be processed and make sure you provide all the information required to avoid additional delay.

The Teaching Council will assess your application to determine whether you’re satisfactorily trained to teach.

If your application to register as a teacher is approved under the discretionary pathway, you’re unlikely to be considered a qualified ECE teacher for Ministry of Education funding and licensing purposes. This means that you can’t hold the 'person responsible' role as a visiting teacher in home-based setting, or as a teacher in a teacher-led centre-based service, or be counted in the qualified staff ratio in teacher-led centre-based services, and you would not count as a certificated teacher for higher rates of funding. Information about ECE funding and licensing requirements is available on the Ministry of Education website.

How to apply through the discretionary pathway

You must complete the TC15 application form  and provide the documents listed below.

Please provide certified copies of originals and don’t send information in sleeved folders or bound booklets.

1. NZQA assessment report of your qualifications and copies of your qualifications - Demonstrating appropriate qualifications for teaching in the public education system in your previous country.

2. Certified official transcript copies of each of the transcripts for each qualification - If you also have a Diploma Supplement for a European higher education diploma or a course/ qualification outline, then please provide a certified copy.

3. Information regarding the practicum component of your teaching qualification - Please provide an explanation of the practicum component of your teaching qualification including the length, age of learners taught and the type of institution.

4. Information about professional teacher registration status - If you hold registration/certification or another type of status as a teacher in another country, please provide official documentation detailing your professional status.

5. Teaching service - Please provide evidence of all teaching service and please explain any significant gaps. Include details of any senior teaching positions and of the types of institutions where you have taught. Statements of service from employers are preferred.

6. Language proficiency - Evidence that you meet the Teaching Council's language competency requirements. 

7. Appraisal, observation and teaching assessment - Evidence of appraisal documentation, lesson observations, performance management documentation/reviews relating to recent teaching experience (usually within the last five years, but older documentation will be considered).

8. Induction/Mentored teaching - Evidence of a supervised programme of induction or mentored teaching completed as a newly qualified or beginning teacher. Preferably a detailed statement from the professional leader of the school outlining the structure and content of your induction programme. Include details regarding the regularity of meetings with your mentor teacher, frequency of their observations of your teaching, and identify what professional standards you were expected to meet by the end of the induction programme. Teachers from the UK may provide this in the form of an Induction certificate issued by the GTC in England, Scotland or Wales.

9. Support from professional leaders - Testimonials or references (on official letterhead, signed and dated) that relate to the Standards for the Teaching Profession and Fit to be a Teacher requirements. These testimonials should be written by a Principal or Centre Manager. Testimonials from other senior teachers can be considered. They should be within the last 10 years.

10. Professional development - Evidence of continuing education or professional development. Please provide a list of workshops, seminars, in-house training, courses and other development activities you’ve undertaken since gaining your initial teacher education qualification. Copies of each of your certificates are not required.

11. A current copy of your curriculum vitae - This can be helpful!

Teachers who are registered through the Teaching Council’s discretionary pathway, work in ECE settings and have an ECE/Primary endorsement from the Council are considered to have a recognised qualification for Ministry of Education funding and regulatory purposes. 

The Council has been providing this endorsement for overseas trained teachers who were registered through the discretionary pathway process since August 2018. The Council is now able to consider whether discretionary pathway registrations granted prior to August 2018 can be offered this endorsement. Find out how to apply.