The Education Minister's new Education Council has replaced the NZ Teachers' Council.
The changes that most affect people wishing to become registered teachers, those who are already registered, and employers of early childhood teachers are as follows:
- It can act on concerns about a teacher without receiving a complaint.
- The fine for ECE services and schools not complying with mandatory reporting of teacher misconduct requirements (including when a teacher has been dismissed for any reason) has increased to $25,000.
- Teacher registration has been separated from practising certificates. A person once registered as a teacher holds life-time registration, but it can be cancelled in certain circumstances such as serious misconduct. Practising certificates are focused on assessing ongoing competence and are renewed every three years.
- The Education Minister appoints members of the Education Council executive, which may make it difficult for members to safely comment on government policy and lead discussion about the regulation of teachers if this conflicts with government views of the day.
The Education Council says it also plans to develop a Code of Conduct for teachers, making clear the expectations for teacher behaviour.
It promises to audit at least 10 percent of appraisals for teacher practising certificates issued each year to monitor consistency in teaching standards.