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Government moves to establish Education Council

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced the establishment process and funding for a new Education Council to be operating by the middle of next year.

This year's Budget will include $400,000 extra funding over the next four years to run the education council.

A working group to develop the detail of the council met for the first time this morning. Its role is to produce a paper within the next few weeks for a public and sector consultation process.

The result of that process would be included in legislation to be introduced to Parliament before the end of the year and passed next year.

"The Council will be an expansion of the Teacher Registration Board and will help the Government in its objectives to lift standards in education," Trevor Mallard said.

"As well as the responsibily for registering teachers, the council will have a much greater role in setting standards for registration, including looking at pre-service education and training, and ongoing professional development within the sector. It will cover both the compulsory and early childhood education sectors.

"A professional body for teachers islong overdue. It has the potential to improve the quality in our schools and early childhood centres through promoting best practice and high quality standards in teaching.

"The Council will also have responsibility for administering the Government's policy of ensuring that all people who regularly work in schools and early childhood centres are subject to the police and character checks that are part of teacher registration. This is an important issue for children's safety," Trevor Mallard said.

Contact: Moerangi Vercoe (Press Secretary) 04 471 9080 or 025 270 9191

Members of the Education Council working group which met for the first time today are:

Bryan Hennessey (Chair)

Owen Edgerton & Eric Woodward from the School Trustees Association

Graeme Macann, Marita Laurenson & Bronwyn Cross from the PPTA

Clare Wells, Liz Patara & Karl Arnesen from the NZEI

Professor Anne Smith from Children's Issues Centre, Otago University, as early childhood education representative

Pem Bird, Diane Pomare & Frances Ruawai-Hamilton from Te Runanga Nui o Nga Kura Kaupapa Maori o Aotearoa

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