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Strengthening teaching and leading for the 21st Century

Strengthening teaching and leading for the 21st Century

Education Minister Hekia Parata has today announced the next phase of consultation on transforming the New Zealand Teachers Council into a professional body fit for the 21st Century.

Ms Parata has released the New Zealand Teachers Council review report together with a discussion document proposing the establishment of a new professional body for teaching and education leadership.

“A skilled, ethical, well researched and well led education profession is vital for New Zealand’s future. Educational success does not happen without great teachers and leaders and both require our best and brightest people, and all deserve a strong professional body to support them,’’ says Ms Parata.

“It is in the interests of all New Zealanders that we have a strong and universally respected education profession that delivers the values, skills and knowledge that our children and young people need to be successful in the 21st century economy and society.”

The Government has a critical interest in ensuring that all young New Zealanders are getting the best education possible.

“Achieving this is not something the Government can or should do alone. We need the education profession with all the knowledge, expertise, and professional capabilities it can bring to the development of the highest quality teaching, and the highest quality education leadership.’’

The Teachers Council Review Committee took into account 177 submissions, interviews with individuals and groups from throughout the education sector, considered New Zealand and international research, and looked at similar professional bodies in the health, legal, and engineering sectors.

It made 24 recommendations which fall into four key themes: a new professional body, the regulatory framework for teachers, the disciplinary framework, and resourcing to support a strong, professional body.

In addition, the Ministerial Cross Sector Forum on Raising Achievement made recommendations about strengthening the quality of education leadership in early childhood centres and schools.

The Government has appointed a Ministerial Advisory Group to lead consultation with the sector and the public on the proposals over the next two months.

The Group will be headed by Dr Graham Stoop and is made up of eight other educational leaders.

“I’m delighted Dr Stoop has agreed to be seconded to the Ministry of Education from his duties as Chief Executive of the Education Review Office to chair this group.

“His experience and standing in the education sector will be hugely valuable.’’

One of the key findings in the review was that the Council “as it is currently structured, governed and positioned, can’t effectively set and enforce standards for entry, progression and professional accountability with the full support of the profession. It lacks a distinctive brand or effective public voice.’’

“The Government will work with the sector to transform the Council into a professional body for the 21st Century, geared to support a well led professional workforce that is skilled, flexible and culturally intelligent.

“My vision is for a strong New Zealand professional body that provides leadership and is owned and driven by the education profession. The proposed new body would drive changes to improve the quality of teaching and education leadership, and ensure robust processes are in place to protect children.’’

The review made a number of recommendations on a new regulatory framework. It recommended clearer separation between becoming registered as a teacher and the issuing of practising certificates, which certify the ongoing competence of teachers.

It also recommended that in addition to the current Limited Authority to Teach, a broader Authority to Educate is introduced to allow individuals with proven expertise to complement the teaching workforce.

The review also endorsed a move to post graduate entry to the profession for school teachers.

“We know the most important thing we can do to raise achievement is to raise teaching and leadership quality throughout the whole education system,’’ says Ms Parata.

“This is a priority for our Government. That’s why in Budget 2013 we announced we are investing $37.5 million over four years to lift the quality of teaching and leadership. This is on top of $352 million we are already planning to spend on professional learning and development for our education profession over the next four years.

“As the review found, to improve outcomes for all students and to address equity issues, New Zealand must have a flexible, skilled and culturally intelligent and well-led workforce.”


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