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Launch of Teachers’ Council

Tuesday 19 February 2002 Media Statement

Launch of Teachers’ Council

The New Zealand Teachers’ Council will play a major role in ensuring a high standard of education in New Zealand schools and early childhood centres, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

The council was launched today at a ceremony at Wellington’s Ngati Poneke Marae. It was established through the passing of the Education Standards Bill by Parliament late last year and replaces the Teacher Registration Board.

Trevor Mallard said that while the council would incorporate the board’s registration and disciplinary function – it had a much wider role.

“The new council will take on an expanded role as the flagship for ethics and standards in education,” Trevor Mallard said.

“It will promote best practice and high quality standards in teaching and stands to make a huge difference to the quality of teaching in school and early childhood services. Its role will include input into the approval of teacher education programmes.

“Teachers will now have the opportunity and responsibility to influence and shape their own profession – in the same way that doctors, nurses, lawyers and vets have been able to for years.”

Trevor Mallard also welcomed the greater flexibility the council would have in disciplinary matters.

“It has the power to investigate where misconduct and incompetence are reasonably thought to have occurred and it has access to a bigger range of tools to deal with misconduct or incompetence, including penalties like suspension, fines and deregistration. The bill passed last year also extended compulsory registration to early childhood and kura kaupapa Mäori teachers and introduced police vetting for all teaching and non-teaching employees in schools and early childhood services. These will all help improve safety,” Trevor Mallard said.

The 11-member council is chaired by educationalist Kathie Irwin.

ENDS

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