Education and Training Bill: Allowing teachers without satisfactory recent teaching experience to have their certificates renewed if they agree to a refresh process

Currently, under section 361(6) of the Education Act 1989 a teacher needs to be able to demonstrate satisfactory recent teaching experience to have their practising certificate renewed by the Teaching Council.

Satisfactory recent teaching experience is usually defined as a 2-year uninterrupted period in a teaching position or equivalent, within the 5 years before the application, though it can be less than 2 years with the Council’s approval.

Some registered teachers, however, are unable to renew their practising certificates because of this 2-year uninterrupted requirement, including those who have been raising a family or travelling overseas.

To enable these teachers to return to teaching, clause 10 of schedule 3 of the Bill allows the Teaching Council to renew practising certificates for teachers who cannot demonstrate satisfactory teaching experience in the five years prior to their application, if the applicant agrees to a refresh process.

The refresh process may take the form of a “return to teaching plan” including 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 requirements for renewing a practicing certificate under section 361(6) of the 1989 Act will still apply.

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

Currently, section 382(i) of the Education Act 1989 provides that a function of the Teaching Council is to audit and moderate teachers’ appraisals. Recently, however the Government, PPTA and NZEI, along with the NZ School Trustees Association and the Teaching Council, have agreed to remove the requirement for teacher performance appraisals. The requirement for the Teaching Council to audit and moderate the appraisals is therefore redundant.

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