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Teachers Elect Reps to Teacher's Council

Teachers Elect Their Representatives onto the Teachers Council

The first ballot for teacher representatives held on Saturday, 12 October 2002 has resulted in four people being elected to serve on the Teachers Council for a term of three years. In all, 24,498 teachers voted in the election, representing a 44.2 percent turnout.

Thirty-four candidates stood for the four positions on Council, representing four sectors. The sectors and the successful candidates representing these sectors are:
Early Childhood Teachers Barbara Backshall
Primary School Teachers Dave Robinson
Secondary School Teachers Patrick Walsh`
Principals Nola Hambleton

These newly elected members join the following members to make up the eleven member Council, chaired by Stan Rodger. The other members on the Council include representatives of the following organisations: the NZEI, Elizabeth Patara; the PPTA, Graeme Macann; and the NZSTA, Barbara Arnott. In addition there are three Ministerial Appointments, Pembroke Bird, Lili Tuioti, and Janet Kelly.

The purpose of the Council is to provide professional leadership in teaching, enhance the status of teachers in schools and early childhood education, and contribute to a safe and high quality teaching and learning environment for children and other learners.

The Teachers Council was established as a Crown entity under the Education Standards Act 2001. It replaced the Teacher Registration Board (TRB) in February this year. While it still carries out functions relating to determining the standards for teacher registration and the issue of practising certificates, it has significantly increased powers and more responsibilities than the TRB.

One of the first tasks for the new Council is to prepare a code of ethics in consultation with the profession. It will also establish advisory groups for early childhood and Maori medium, initially to ensure all teachers in these areas become registered. The Council will also establish a Complaints Assessment Committee to investigate complaints of misconduct about teachers as well as reports of convictions of teachers. A Disciplinary Tribunal will also be established to conduct hearings in relation to misconduct and convictions of individual teachers.

The main emphasis of the Council is on professional leadership and encouraging wise practice in teaching. The Council is also responsible for establishing professional standards for teachers and maintaining them. It must also determine standards for qualifications that lead to teacher registration. In this regard, it has a role in quality assurance with other agencies to conduct approvals of teacher education programmes on the basis of these standards.

The Council will also identify research priorities and where appropriate, promote and sponsor research according to those priorities.

In addition to vetting all teachers the Council is required to coordinate a system of police vetting for non teaching staff in schools and early childhood services.


Barbara Backshall - Early Childhood Teachers

Barbara has 25 years’ experience in early childhood education, including kindergarten, playcentre and childcare. In recent years she has been involved in teacher education, and is currently the Director of Early Childhood Teacher Education at the Auckland College of Education. Her experience includes the Equivalency up-skill for childcare educators, professional development for early childhood teachers, and the politics of the early childhood sector.

Dave Robinson - Primary School Teachers

Dave teaches at Waihopai and is married with three children in the education system. He has 22 years experience at the chalk face. In 2002 Dave was a recipient of a National Excellence in teaching regional award.

Patrick Walsh – Secondary School Teachers

Patrick is the Deputy Principal of De La Salle College, Auckland, and a qualified Barrister & Solicitor. He is President of the Australia New Zealand Education Law Association (NZ Chapter) and author of ‘Educational Management and The Law (1972)’, ‘Schools Go to Court (1999)’. He is also a Lecturer in Education Law at ACE, UNITEC, Massey University, and has been a Secondary Teacher for 17 years.

Nola Hambleton – Principals Representative

Nola’s career as a Principal has taken her from Southland to Auckland including a brief time as Principal of a Teacher Training Unit on Nauru Island. She has served for ten years on NZPF Executive, two as President, and is currently President Elect of International Confederation of Principals. Up until this election, Nola has been the interim Principals representative on the Teachers Council.

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