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Induction and Mentoring


We have invested in programmes of research, evaluation and professional learning to strengthen induction and mentoring practices in New Zealand.

This includes:

  • Research on the induction experiences of provisionally registered teachers
  • Development and piloting of the Guidelines for Induction and Mentoring and Mentor Teachers
  • Workshops for mentor teachers and professional leaders focused on educative mentoring
  • Promoting a model of induction and mentoring, Te Hāpai Ō, for teachers in Māori medium settings

Guidelines for Induction and Mentoring and Mentor 
Teachers 2011


Te Hāpai Ō - Induction and Mentoring in Māori-medium 
Settings 2012

Timeline for the Induction and Mentoring Project

In 2005 the Teachers Council began to review the support offered to provisionally registered teachers (PRTs).  Key steps in the project are shown below, starting with the most recent activities:


Council workshops
More workshops on the Guidelines in targeted areas. Evaluation of the Guidelines produced by the New Zealand Council for Education Research.

2013 Council workshops 
More workshops on the Guidelines in targeted areas
2012-2014 Suveys, wānanga and case studies 
Surveys of PRTs and Mentors (August 2012 and March 2013)
Fifteen Te Hāpai Ō wānanga delivered (2012-2013)
More surveys of PRTs and Mentors (August 2013 and March 2014)
Case studies in ECE and school settings throughout New Zealand
2012 Council commissions evaluation of Guidelines
How are mentors using the Guidelines to support induction? Is the mentor helping the provisionally registered teacher to develop their teaching practice?
2012 Te hāpai Ō document launched at te whare wānanga o awanuiārangi (2011)
15 wānanga held throughout New Zealand for mentors in Māori medium settings (2012-2013)
What does mentoring look like in Māori medium settings?
2011-2012 National workshop programme on Guidelines
48 workshops held all over New Zealand with professional leaders and mentors
2011 Guidelines for Induction and Mentoring and Mentor Teachers launched at Parliament
Guidelines distributed to all ECE centres and schools in New Zealand
2010 Council holds World Teachers’ Day conference on mentoring
What does it take to mentor the next generation of teachers?
2009-2010 Council develops draft guidelines and runs pilot programme
4 pilots run (ECE, Primary, Secondary and Māori medium) trialling the draft guidelines and models of training and support for mentor teachers.
Independent evaluation conducted assessing the value of the draft guidelines.
Do Guidelines support consistent approaches to induction? What impact does an ‘educative mentoring’ approach have?
2008 Guidelines for induction and mentoring drafted
RFP for pilot programme goes out to sector
2008 Success case studies
Showcases exemplary induction and mentoring programmes
2007 Survey of PRTs 
National survey of provisionally registered teachers
2007 Literature review 
Describes New Zealand and international approaches to supporting beginning teachers
2006-2008 Council commissions learning to teach research programme
What does effective induction look like? What are the experiences of provisionally registered teachers?
2005 Council identifies a need for research on induction. 
Planning for project begins.
What support are provisionally registered teachers getting? How can Council strengthen induction and mentoring?


In 2005, the Teachers Council identified that many Provisionally Registered Teachers (PRTs) were not getting quality support and information about how to gain full registration.  Professional support for PRTs was variable and focused on emotional support for beginning teachers.  Council embarked on a research programme to gather evidence of how these teachers were being supported.

The Learning to Teach research programme investigated the quality of advice and guidance accessed by provisionally registered teachers.  The three stage programme identified that consistent induction practices for teachers was needed along with specific training and support for mentors.  The best practice identified by the research lead to the development of guidelines.

The Guidelines for Induction and Mentoring and Mentor Teachers were developed to shift school, kura and ECE practices towards an educative mentoring approach.  The pilot programme tested the draft Guidelines in ECE, primary, secondary and Māori medium settings.  An evaluation assessed the impact of the Guidelines across the sectors and identified ways to support a shift towards educative mentoring practices. 

Findings from the pilot programme were used to finalise the Guidelines and develop a workshop programme.  Council also hosted a two day conference in 2010 to discuss the findings from the pilot programme and provide professional learning on educative mentoring.

national programme of workshops was conducted to introduce professional leaders and mentors to the Guidelines for Induction and Mentoring and Mentor Teachers.  The workshops explored how the Guidelines could be implemented in schools and ECE services, and allowed participants to practice educative mentoring skills. 

Workshops were also offered to support kaiako in Māori medium settings work with Te Hāpai Ō - Ko te Whakangungu me te Arataki i ngā wāhi Mātauranga Māori / Induction and Mentoring in Māori-medium Settings.  The workshops explored a model of induction and mentoring based on the whakatauki Te Amorangi Ki Mua which encompassed a Māori world view.

By 2012 Council was interested to find out the impact of this project.  Have the Guidelines shifted induction and mentoring practices?  Are provisionally registered teachers receiving high quality induction and mentoring?  Are mentor teachers receiving effective training and support to help them in their role?  The Council has commissioned an evaluation to answer these questions.    

Here you’ll find resources to support the Guidelines for Induction and Mentoring and Mentor Teachers. These resources were first developed in 2011 for a national programme of workshops for professional leaders and mentor teachers.

The resources were designed to familiarise workshop attendees with the Guidelines and are still relevant to mentor teachers and professional leaders – they will help you think about what high quality induction and mentoring looks like in practice, and how mentor teachers can be supported to develop the skills they need to be effective.


'Professional Learning Journeys' featuring pilot directors and mentor teachers involved in the national pilot programme.
'Triangulated Mentoring Conversation' role-play featuring facilitator Nicky Dowling, and Louise Green, Aimee Dimery and Rebecca Hale of the North West Network Learning Community



Induction and mentoring pilot programme 2009-2010

Once Council had a better idea of how beginning teachers were being supported and what best practice in induction and mentoring looks like, draft guidelines were developed.  The next step in the project was to pilot the guidelines and models of support for provisionally registered teachers (PRTs) and mentors.

Council funded four pilots to trial the draft Guidelines for Induction and Mentoring and Mentor Teachers.  Council wanted to find out if the guidelines were relevant to teachers in different sectors.  Also, how could Council support schools and ECE centres to use the guidelines? 

The induction and mentoring pilot programme involved four sector specific pilots and an evaluation.   

  1. ECE pilot: NZ Kindergartens’ Regional Networks
  2. Primary pilot: Auckland University’s Educative Mentoring
  3. Secondary pilot: Massey University’s Professional Learning Community
  4. Māori medium pilot: Awanuiārangi’s Connected Approach
  5. Evaluation

ECE pilot: NZ Kindergartens’ Regional Networks

New Zealand Kindergartens ran a one-year pilot across three regions in New Zealand.

Key features of pilot:

  • Series of workshops and regional networks for mentors.
  • Involvement of over 100 mentors and PRTs from five kindergarten associations in three regional areas.
  • Workshops focused on developing mentor skills e.g. assessment, coaching and self-reflection.
  • Pilot overseen by a National Advisory Group that designed the workshop programme.

"Building relationships and making time to talk emerged as two critical elements of effective induction and mentoring."

View Induction and Mentoring Pilot - Early Childhood Executive Summary (PDF, 117KB)
View Induction and Mentoring Pilot - Early Childhood Report (PDF, 7.10MB)


Primary pilot: Auckland University’s Educative Mentoring

Auckland University ran a two-year pilot with six primary and intermediate schools.

Key features of pilot:

  • Each school developed models of induction along with policies to support PRTs.  Principals led this work using the draft Guidelines.
  • Mentor training developed educative skills using action research methodology and analysis of taped learning conversations with PRTs.
  • The pilot was underpinned by 12 key characteristics of sound PRT induction.
  • Research investigated the skills mentors need to develop PRTs pedagogical expertise.

"National policy, educative mentoring, and school leadership are fundamental to sustaining high-quality learning for PRTs and to their impact on student’s learning."

View Induction and Mentoring Pilot - Primary Executive Summary (PDF, 106KB)
View Induction and Mentoring Pilot - Primary Report (PDF, 3.98MB)


Secondary pilot: Massey University’s Professional Learning Community

Massey University ran a two-year pilot with six secondary schools across three regions in New Zealand.

Key features of pilot:

  • The pairing of schools to work together for the duration of the pilot.
  • Professional learning days to build mentoring skills and share strategies for induction and mentoring.
  • Support from a team of skilled facilitators via in-school visits, emails, phone and skype conversations.
  • Self-Assessment Tool was created for gathering evidence to meet the Registered Teacher Criteria.

"Having a solid, living, integrated induction and mentoring plan is the key to ongoing sustainability and support for all staff."

View Induction and Mentoring Pilot - Secondary Executive Summary (PDF, 102KB)
View Induction and Mentoring Pilot - Secondary Report (PDF, 3.78MB)


Māori medium pilot: Awanuiārangi’s Connected Approach

Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi worked with teachers in the Māori medium sector to develop a unique model of induction and mentoring.

Key features of pilot:

  • Wānanga exploring a kaupapa Māori approach to mentoring with teachers from kura kaupapa Māori, kohanga reo, kura rumaki immersion classes and wharekura.
  • Development of a conceptual model of induction and mentoring – Te Amorangi ki Mua – underpinned by a reciprocal concept of ako.

The pilot created the resource Te Hāpai Ō which provides practical tools for implementing an induction and mentoring programme based on kaupapa Māori.

"He kaiako, he ākonga hoki tēnā tangata me tēnā.

"Every person is both a teacher and a learner."



Martin Jenkins and Associates carried out an independent evaluation of the pilot programme.

Key findings from the evaluation:

  • The draft Guidelines led to substantive shifts in induction and mentoring practices within the pilot schools and ECE centres.  For example formalising induction plans, increasing understanding of effective mentoring practices and greater clarity of the role of mentors.
  • Professional development needs to focus on building mentor skills and understanding of the Guidelines.
  • ECE and school leaders play a critical role in the induction and mentoring of PRTs.

"The Draft Guidelines provided a framework to support high-quality, comprehensive and educative support for PRTs as they begin their journey towards full registration."

View Induction and Mentoring Pilot - Evaluation Executive Summary (PDF, 215KB)
View Induction and Mentoring Pilot - Evaluation (PDF, 3.48MB)

Evaluation of the Guidelines

The report produced in conjunction with the NZ Council for Educational Research is now available. 

Evaluation of the Guidelines for induction and mentoring and mentor teachers (PDF, 4.18MB)

Alternatively, summaries are available for each sector.

ECE summary (PDF, 1.0MB)
Primary summary (PDF, 2.46MB)
Secondary summary (PDF, 675KB)

Learning to Teach research 2006-2008

The induction and mentoring project started with research. The Teachers Council wanted to find out what induction was like for provisionally registered teachers (PRTs). What support did these teachers receive to help them develop their teaching practice? How did mentors support them to gain full registration? What were the best ways to mentor teachers in ECE, school and kura settings?

The Learning to Teach research aimed to answer these questions. Learning to Teach is made up of three stages.

  1. Learning to Teach: Literature Review
  2. Learning to Teach: Survey of PRTs
  3. Learning to Teach: Success Case Studies

Learning to Teach: Literature Review (2007)

The first stage involved a review of international and New Zealand literature. The report by Marie Cameron describes best practices, underpinning theories and approaches to induction and mentoring. 

Key literature:

  • Induction programmes need to build on the knowledge and skills developed in initial teacher education.
  • Provisionally registered teachers require intensive, sustained support from a skilled mentor.
  • Mentors need training and ongoing support to mentor teachers effectively.
  • Lack of research on induction for teachers in early childhood and Māori medium settings.

Cameron, M. (2007). Learning to Teach: A Literature Review of Induction Theory and Practice. Wellington: New Zealand Teachers Council. (PDF, 4.18MB)

Learning to Teach: Survey of PRTs (2007)

The second stage involved a national survey of provisionally registered teachers. PRTs were asked about their induction programmes including professional learning received and how their practice was assessed.

Key survey findings:

  • There was inconsistent support provided to PRTs across the sectors.
  • Most PRTs had an assigned mentor.  A small percentage of PRTs did not have a mentor to support them (12% of secondary, 8% of ECE and 5% of primary).
  • Around 20% of ECE and secondary teachers and 14% of primary teachers reported they had been left alone to “sink or swim”.
  • Around a third of primary and secondary teachers did not know what criteria was used to assess their teaching practice.
  • Many PRTs had several teaching positions over their two year registration period.

Cameron, M., Dingle, R. & Brooking, K. (2007) Learning to Teach: A Survey of Provisionally Registered Teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand. Wellington: New Zealand Teachers Council. (PDF, 1.32MB)

Learning to Teach: Success Case Studies (2008)

The third stage looked at induction in twenty early childhood, primary, secondary and Māori medium settings. The case studies highlighted successful programmes of support for PRTs.

Successful induction:

  • Strong culture of support provided to PRT including the support of an experienced mentor.
  • PRTs and mentors had dedicated time for discussion and learning.
  • Professional development provided and viewed as essential for learning.
  • Whole whānau focus in Māori medium settings.

Helen Aitken, Pip Bruce Ferguson, Fiona McGrath, Eileen Piggot-Irvine and Jenny Ritchie (2008). Learning to Teach: Success Case Studies of Teacher Induction in Aotearoa New Zealand (PDF, 3.32MB)