1 Nov 2013

Big changes for Teachers Council

9:55 pm on 1 November 2013

The Government is replacing the New Zealand Teachers Council with a new organisation responsible for registering and disciplining teachers.

It says the new Education Council will develop a code of conduct for teachers and audit schools' judgements that teachers are fit for the job.

The Government says the council will provide more leadership for the teaching profession and will be owned by teachers.

However, it is abolishing teachers' right to elect members to the organisation.

Instead, Education Minister Hekia Parata will appoint all the council's members - most of them from a pool of nominees who can be put forward by anyone.

The council will be an independent statutory body, which means the Government cannot direct it, and it can express its views even if they are contrary to government policy.

The secretary of the Educational Institute, Paul Goulter, says the new organisation will not have any members elected by teachers - and that is a mistake.

"The minister claims that she wants an independent body representing the profession, and yet the minister retains the right to appoint all members to the body. That's just a contradiction and it doesn't make sense."

Mr Goulter says teachers should be able to directly elect members of the council.

The Government says the changes will take effect sometime in 2014.