Restoring teachers to their own council moves one step closer

The passing of the second reading of the Education (Teaching Council of Aotearoa) Amendment Bill brings us one step closer to restoring the voice of teachers to their own professional body,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

“The Bill gives the teaching profession the right to directly elect seven of their own to their professional and regulatory body. It reverses the previous National Government’s decision to remove elected teachers from the council, one of many ways they sought to undermine teachers,” Chris Hipkins said.  

Another six members will be appointed by the Minister of Education.

The Government voted in favour and National voted against.

“The changes mean that teachers will be able to determine their own representation on the organisation responsible for providing leadership to the profession and lifting its status.

“This Government has always recognised the importance of giving teachers the right to elect representatives to their own professional body. Other professionals, such as doctors, nurses and real estate agents have this right. It is only fair that teachers have their right of direct representation and election restored,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The majority of submitters supported this change. Like us, they believed that the teaching profession can be trusted to elect responsible representatives, along with a smaller number of ministerial appointments, to give them a say in governing their own professional organisation.”

“In voting against, National once again showed their lack of respect for the teaching profession.

“New leader, but same old National. Why do they think real estate agents should have more rights than teachers?”

The Bill also changes the name of the Education Council to the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. This change is designed to better reflect the Council’s core business, Chris Hipklns said.

The Bill makes a number of amendments to ensure a smooth transition from the Education Council to the Teaching Council and to provide for ongoing arrangements for the Teaching Council.

Mr Hipkins says the changes are part of a package to improve the status of the teaching profession.

“I thank the Education and Workforce Committee and the people and organisations who made submissions on this important issue for the teaching profession,” Mr Hipkins said