Why I am standing for the NZTC and why you should vote in the upcoming election!
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First up, why am I standing for the New Zealand Teachers Council?
My reasons are two-fold.
The first being that I believe I would be a great addition to the New Zealand Teachers Council. I am passionate and well informed about educational issues and am constantly seeking ways that I can both support and challenge NZ educators to be future-focused, sharing and reflective as well as being recognised by the wider community as the hardworking professionals that they are. I believe New Zealand educators desire to be both supported through ongoing professional learning and rigorous appraisal systems and challenged to be adaptive experts who are expected (and supported) to evolve their practice constantly to ensure they are meeting the needs of all of their learners. I believe that if I were to be elected to the NZTC I will be a positive and passionate voice for secondary educators.
My second reason is that this is the last chance (if the current plans proceed) New Zealand educators will have to elect their own representatives on the teachers council...even when it is the teachers' registration fees that actually fund the council. As many of you will be aware the NZTC is due to be disbanded in the near future (most likely next year) and will be then be replaced by Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand, otherwise know as EDUCANZ. Irregardless of several rounds of consultation and many many educators voicing their concerns, plans have proceeded pretty much unchanged and there are many areas of deep concern. The two main issues I would like to raise awareness of are:
- The new EDUCANZ will be formed through undemocratic means, teachers will lose the right to elect members as they can at present. Instead all members of EDUCANZ will be appointed by the Minister of Education.
- EDUCANZ will replace the aspirational 'Code of Ethics' with what I believe to be a patronising 'Code of Conduct'.
I believe if I were to be elected as the secondary representative on NZTC I could use this opportunity (even if it is short-lived) to highlight issues surrounding the transition to EDUCANZ that I believe have not been heard or listened to during the consultation period. It is simply not good enough that an entire sector of highly qualified educators are not being recognised as the professionals they are. I believe my presence on the NZTC in it's final months will give all secondary educators the opportunity to have a loud, articulate voice to communicate how we feel about the formation of EDUCANZ.
Why you should vote!
Of course I hope you vote for me, but irregardless of whether you can or do, the most important thing is, that if you are a registered educator - you must vote! This may be the last chance to challenge the perception that educators do not care about having the opportunity to elect their own representatives. We must show that we value this right and that we deserve to maintain the right to vote in at least a proportion of our own council.
Please share this post widely and ensure all registered educators are aware of the changes afoot. Below is the information from the EDUCANZ transition website that outlines the changes that are planned and the differences between the current NZTC and the future EDUCANZ.
The proposed EDUCANZ remit is wider than that of the current Council and would include leadership as well as quality teaching across the early childhood education and schooling sectors.
EDUCANZ would be independent of Government
Unlike NZTC, which is a crown entity, EDUCANZ would be an independent statutory body and would be able to make independent comment on education policy. This would enable EDUCANZ to lead the public debate on education.
The EDUCANZ Council would set its strategic direction in consultation with the sector.
The EDUCANZ Council would be skills-based and all appointments made by the Minister
The new Council would have less members (nine versus the current 11 on NZTC). Candidates would be sought through an open nominations process based on specific criteria, that as a minimum would include taking in to account candidates':
- Knowledge of Education
- Experience of governance
- Leadership experience and skills
- Financial skills
- Understanding of the partnership principles of the Treaty of Waitangi
A minimum of five of the members would be people holding teacher registration and a practising certificate.
By comparison, the NZTC Board has 11 members, with four members directly appointed by the Minister of Education, three members appointed by the Minister following nomination by NZEI, NZSTA (School Trustees Association), PPTA and four members elected by the sector.
Registration and Practising Certificates would be separated
Currently, registration (to recognise membership of the profession) and practising certificates (focussed on assessing on-going competence of teachers) are combined. It is proposed that separate registration and practising certificates would be issued, in line with other professions.
Limited Authorities to Teach (LATs) could be linked to a person
Currently, LATs are issued for a specified position, location and time period. Under the proposed legislation LATs can be applied to a person as well as a specific position.
Changes to disciplinary proceedings
EDUCANZ would be able to investigate matters without having to wait for a complaint to be raised and all matters of serious misconduct would be automatically referred to the Disciplinary Tribunal. A member of the governing board would not need to be on the Disciplinary Tribunal, which is a current requirement.
Code of Conduct
EDUCANZ would develop a code of conduct to replace the current code of ethics.
See the EDUCANZ transition website for more details: