Teaching Council language policy review

The Teaching Council is aware that there are misleading media headlines and social media posts about language requirements (including IELTS tests) for teacher registration.

The Teaching Council is currently reviewing the language requirements policy. We want to be clear that we are not considering lowering the standards for English language competency.

Instead, the review is looking at additional language test options (including IELTS) and broadening the range of evidence that teachers can use to demonstrate proficiency in English.

We want to ensure all children and young people benefit from a high-quality teaching workforce. Teaching is a linguistically-challenging profession, New Zealand teachers need to be competent in English or Te Reo Māori, which are the languages of our national curriculum, to support children and young people to achieve the best educational outcomes. 

The Teaching Council has significant statutory responsibilities under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act, which means the Teaching Council and the Australian States must maintain similar standards. Currently all Australian States and Territories have an IELTS requirement of 7.5, and those same states accept the New Zealand standard of 7.

The Teaching Council is still finalising its policy and we will continue to release progress updates. Please keep an eye on our website for updates.


Published 7 November 2018

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