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No consequence for teachers who don’t pay hiked registration


Teachers are being advised to refuse to pay the Teaching Council’s hiked registration fees as the Ministry of Education does not enforce the requirement to have a current practicing certificate.

“Just don’t pay it,” education advocate Regan Cunliffe said. “I have seen no enforcement of Section 374 of the Education Act by either the Teaching Council or the Ministry of Education. There appears to have been no consequences for non-compliance for the hundreds of teachers who are already flouting the rules.”

Information released under the Official Information Act shows the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Education Review Office (ERO) are failing in their duties to administer the practising certificates of registered teachers in New Zealand.

It is a requirement of the Teaching Council that anyone in a teaching position, including principals, must hold a current practising certificate and to be issued with or to renew a current practising certificate teachers need to be annually appraised using the Standards for the Teaching Profession.

Mr Cunliffe requested information from the Teaching Council regarding the renewals of practising certificates by teachers.

The Teaching Council was unable to state if any teacher they had issued a practising certificate for had been annually appraised as they “do not capture that information”.

The Teaching Council provided information that showed that in the data share of the week of 16th December 2019, 851 teachers were matched against payroll data records to be without a current practising certificate where that practising certificate had expired more than 10 working days prior.

In November 2019, Mr Cunliffe provided the Ministry of Education with a list of principals currently working without a current practising certificate and outside the grace period.

One of those principals was Helensville Primary School Principal Deborah Heasman.

Official information released by the Helensville Primary School Board of Trustees showed that Principal Deborah Heasman had not had an annual appraisal completed in more than two years.

Official information released by Northcote Primary School about Ms Heasman, who was Principal there prior to joining Helensville in 2016, said that there were “no details relating to dates of appraisals or who carried out any appraisals.”

“It appears that schools can eliminate the ‘burdensome process” of appraisal by ignoring the requirements to appraise their teachers and principals and that teachers can save themselves money by refusing to pay their registration fees because no one will enforce anything if they don’t.”

Section 374 of the Education Act is clear in regards to offences relating to those who do not hold a practising certificate and continue in employment outside of the 20 half day grace period.

“It appears that Section 374 of the Education Act is entirely redundant,” Mr Cunliffe added.

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