Education and Training Act 2020: Changes related to the Teaching Council

Allowing teachers without satisfactory recent teaching experience to have their certificates renewed if they agree to refresh process

Under the Education Act 1989, a teacher needed to demonstrate satisfactory recent teaching experience to have their practising certificate renewed by the Teaching Council.

Satisfactory recent teaching experience is defined in the Act as either:

  • an uninterrupted period of two years in a teaching position, in the five years prior to the application for a renewed practising certificate; or
  • a period shorter than two years approved by the Teaching Council, in the five years prior to the application for a renewed practising certificate.

However, the requirements stipulated in the 1989 Act meant that teachers who had not done any teaching in the last five years but who wish to return to teaching, could not have their practising certificate renewed. This affected a small group of teachers who may have taken a break from teaching to, for example, raise a family or travel overseas.

To enable these teachers to return to teaching, clause 10 of schedule 3 of the Act allows the Teaching Council to renew practising certificates for teachers who cannot demonstrate satisfactory recent teaching experience, if the applicant agrees to a refresh process.

The refresh process may include mentoring support and supervision by a fully certificated teacher in the school the applicant intends to work in, or an initial teacher education refresh where the applicant has not taught for a considerable length of time.

The requirements for the refresh process will be in rules made by the Teaching Council and will be published in the Council’s new registration policy. The other pre-existing requirements for renewing a practicing certificate will still apply.

They can be found:
Teaching Council NZ: Requirements for Teacher Registration, Practising Certificates and Limited Authority to Teach(external link)

Removing the requirement for the Teaching Council to audit teacher performance appraisals

The Teaching Council previous had a function to audit and moderate teachers’ appraisals. An agreement between the Government, PPTA and NZEI, along with the NZ School Trustees Association and the Teaching Council, to remove the requirement for teacher performance appraisals made this function redundant so it has been removed from the Act.

Strengthening the Teaching Council's Governance Arrangements

Section 475 of the Act provides that the Teaching Council comprises 13 members, with six members appointed by the Minister of Education and seven elected members.

Although the Minister appoints the chairperson of the Teaching Council, the Minister had no ability to appoint a deputy chairperson under the previous legislation. Section 7 of Schedule 19 of the Act enables the Minister to appoint a deputy chairperson. The deputy chairperson is able to perform all the functions and duties of the chairperson, when the chairperson is unable to do so, including exercising a casting vote.

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