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Teacher Registration and Certification Policy Review

What does it take to be a member of New Zealand's teaching profession?

Ko te mahi whakaakoranga te umanga nunui katoa i Aotearoa nei, ā, koinei tētahi umanga ka tino whai pānga ki te waihangatanga o te āmua mō ngā ākonga. I a tātou e whakapakari ngātahi nei i te umanga, kei te mahi tahi tātou kia ahei ai ā tātou kaiako me ā tātou kaihautū ki te whakapakari ake i ā rātou mahi whakarato i roto i ō rātou hapori, mā te tautoko i ngā tamariki me te hunga taiohi kia eke ki te taumata angitu.

Kua whakaritea ngā paerewa teitei mō ngā mahi me ngā whanonga, e kitea ana i roto i Ngā Tikanga Matatika me Ngā Paerewa, me te mōhio mā te tuari me te whakawhanake i ō tātou mōhiotanga me ā tātou mahi, ka puta ngā hua e hiahiatia hei hiki ake i te mana o te umanga.

Kei roto i te kaupapa here e pā ana ki te Rēhitanga, te Whai Tiwhiketetanga me te Mana Whai Here ki te Whakaako e takoto ana te huarahi  e taea ai e te kaiako te whakauru ki te umanga whakaakoranga me ōna mahinga, i Aotearoa nei.

Teaching is the biggest profession in New Zealand and one of the most influential in shaping the future of learners. As we strengthen the profession together, we are working to enable our teachers and leaders to better serve their communities and support children and young people to be successful.

With high standards of practice and behaviour expressed in our Code and Standards, we know that sharing and developing our collective knowledge and practice will bring the results needed to raise the status of the profession. 

Our Registration, Certification and Limited Authority to Teach policy sets out how teachers can enter the teaching profession and practice in New Zealand.

Why a review?

In 2015 an interim policy was put in place to reflect changes made in the Education Act 1989 while the then Education Council was being established. We said at the time that we'd review the policy when the Education Council was fully operational, to make sure it's fit for purpose.

We started the review in 2017 following the launch of the Code and Standards because the Code and Standards are the foundation for teacher registration and certification.

This year we're moving our paper processes online, so now's a good time to make changes to registration and practising certificate requirements.

We're in this together

We've listened to our stakeholders about how we can refresh the process and requirements for teacher registration, certification and limited authority to teach as defined in our Interim Policy for Registration, Practising Certificates and Limited Authority to Teach.

We heard that the profession wants a registration policy that:

  • Is easy to understand and follow
  • Enables a fast turnaround for straightforward applications
  • Maintains a high-bar for entry into the profession with ongoing professional learning and development
  • Promotes our commitment to the Code and Standards, and in particular, te reo me ngā tikanga Māori
  • Is flexible so we can get quality teachers in front of our learners when we need them
  • Reflects the high trust we have with our teachers and professional leaders

We agree and believe the policy should support quality teaching, learning and leadership. And throughout it all, the policy should be linked to the Code and Standards, and the processes which support teachers in their professional practice - induction and mentoring, annual appraisal, and professional learning and development.

Getting the balance right

It's important to get the right balance with this policy so it supports professional leaders to be responsible when making judgements about individual teachers, while collectively preserving the reputation of the profession, building capability, and keeping learners safe.

Transparency is also important to us. Our practice will follow our policy so that teachers and leaders know what's required and how to get there.

The consultation process is now complete

We recently proposed a number of bold and future-thinking changes. You can view the full proposal here, or, if you’re short on time, read a summary below:

  1. Leveraging the Code and Standards
    1. Defining what we mean when we say, ‘good character’.
    2. More emphasis on the Standards to determine if a teacher meets the requirements for a practising certificate.
  2. Bicultural capability
    1. Committing to  ongoing  development of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori (Māori language and culture) capability at the time of registration.
    2. Be able to demonstrate progress of te reo me ngā tikanga Māori as a condition of the issue and renewal of a practising certificate.
    3. Strengthen the capability of overseas teachers coming to New Zealand so they’re more in-line with the expectations on New Zealand teachers.
  3. Flexibility
    1. Remove time-bound requirements for teachers to show they have met the Standards, specifically for teachers who hold a subject to confirmation practising certificate although you might say you want this extended to other category types.
    2. By focusing on the Standards, provide more flexibility in decisions for teachers who might not meet our requirements.
  4. Currency of knowledge
    1. Teachers who have held a full practising certificate at some time in their career, but not in the last six years or so will be required to participate in ‘return to teaching’ support.

The proposed changes were launched with the profession for an eight-week consultation period at the end of February 2018. We received 493 online survey responses and 11 written submissions. The survey was open to the public and targeted at individual teachers and leaders. The written submission process was targeted at education organisations.

We promoted the consultation through our website, social media platforms, our newsletter and through direct contact with sector representative organisations and unions.

A summary of the feedback received is available here.

Implementation of the new policy

The new policy Teacher Registration, Practising Certificates and Limited Authority to Teach  has been implemented with Hapori Matatū.