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Auckland Secondary Schools Create New Pathway Into Teaching

A group of Auckland secondary schools are working together to create a new pathway into teaching to complement existing initial teacher education (ITE) programmes.

Known as The Teachers’ Institute, the Trust is a collaboration between eleven founding secondary schools: Westlake Boys High School, Auckland Grammar School, Rangitoto College, St Cuthbert’s College, Diocesan School for Girls, St Peters College, Baradene College, Mount Albert Grammar School, Westlake Girls High School, Macleans College, and Liston College.

The Trust is developing a school-based ITE programme to attract new teachers into the profession and is expecting to start accepting applications from mid-2024 to start in January 2025. Teacher trainees will complete their teaching qualification whilst based day-to-day in one of the member schools and enrolled with the Trust, which is registered as a tertiary organisation.

Trust Chair and Headmaster of Westlake Boys High School, David Ferguson, says school-based teacher education has proved effective in attracting more people into the profession and delivering high-quality training for new teachers overseas, and has the potential to address a need that also exists in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

“Our goal is a programme that complements existing ITE pathways,” he said. This approach has the potential to attract people who haven’t previously considered teaching as a profession, but who have the opportunity to develop into exceptional teachers and help ensure all students have access to high-quality education.”

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Mr Ferguson said the founding community of schools has committed to establishing the new school-based programme in time for the 2025 academic year and this group are keen to see it expand to other schools across the country over time.

Trustee, Heather McRae, Principal of Diocesan School for Girls, says Aotearoa New Zealand has broadened its ITE pathways in recent years. However, there is still a significant opportunity for a purpose-built school-based approach.

“There’s enormous potential to support people from diverse backgrounds into teaching, particularly within the context of individual school communities and local needs,” she said.

The Teachers’ Institute is a charitable trust, governed by a Board of Trustees, which receives advice from an Advisory Board of member schools. It is registered as a Private Training Establishment (PTE) with NZQA.

Mrs McRae said the focus for 2024 is completing the design and accreditation for the new programme for first delivery in 2025.

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