Below is the official outline what is in The Education (Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand) Amendment Bill currently before parliament:
The purpose of the Teaching Council (the Council) is to ensure safe and high quality leadership, teaching, and learning for children and young people in early childhood, primary, secondary, and senior secondary schooling in English medium and Māori medium settings through raising the status of the profession.
It stands to reason, therefore, that the governance of the council should be directly elected by, and representative of, the teaching profession as well as appointed lay representatives, and that its name should reflect the central role teaching plays in quality education.
The teaching profession has less control of its affairs than most professions.
For example, the current Council provisions contrast with how members are chosen for the Nursing Council. In 2009, the-then Health Minister Tony Ryall led the modification of that appointment system to enable nurses to elect members of the council.
The rationale for that move was that it was an important step toward giving nurses greater say in decisions affecting scopes of practice, competence and safety.
The Education Act 1989 currently provides that the new Council comprises 9 members. The Minister of Education appoints all 9 members. There are no elections.
This Bill retains an independent statutory basis for the Council, but its governing body is a mix of teacher members elected directly by the teaching profession and lay representatives appointed by the Minister of Education.
It is possible under the current Act that 4 of 9 Council members are non-teachers. “At least 5 of the members must be registered under section 353 and hold a practising certificate under section 361”- Schedule 21, clause 1(1) and (2). This Bill proposes that teachers should be in a majority in the leadership of their own professional body.
Teachers expect that membership of the Council should include appointments in the public interest, but it is only logical to build teachers’ ownership of the organisation required to promote and monitor the standards of their profession by ensuring they have a direct vote on some Council members.
The teaching profession supports greater legal independence for the Council, but it cannot, and will not, be perceived to be independent of Government as long as all of its governance body members are directly appointed by the Minister.
This Bill proposes that the membership of the Council be increased to 13, to include a senior ECE leader and a teacher educator and 5 other qualified and registered teachers/teacher leaders. Ministerial appointment fills the 6 other member positions.
This link takes you to the full Bill, if you wish for more detail.
~ Dianne, SOSNZ
Yesterday, with the passing of the above Bill, another blow hit New Zealand education. The Bill passed 61:59 with National, ACT and United Future voting it through.
The Bill gets rid of the Teachers Council and replaces it with EDUCANZ, a new professional body for the teaching profession. The problem here is that EDUCANZ cannot and will not represent teachers: Clause 1 of Schedule 22 in the bill outlines that the nine members of EDUCANZ will all be appointed by the Minister of Education. Not one member of EDUCANZ will be democratically chosen by teachers. Not one.
Even the EDUCANZ transition board, put in place well before the Bill was even passed, was chosen by the Minister of Education. And, you guessed it, “[a]t least five candidates from this nomination process will be appointed by the Minister, with the balance being selected by the Minister.”
Compare that to the Teachers Council, which “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.’
The Bill also shrinks universities and wananga councils and removes the necessity for student representation on those council. These changes were rigorously argued against by well over a thousand submissions to the Education Select Committee. The submissions were, like last time, ignored.
Are you spotting a pattern here, of reduced representation? Of increased government control?
If you’re not convinced of that control thing, you may wish to consider that EDUCANZ will be writing a new Code of Conduct for teachers. That’s right, the Code of Conduct will be written by people entirely chosen by the Minister. Prepare to be gagged.
Reactions to the Bill Passing
Chris Hipkins spoke of a “string of bad decisions by the minister which have led to disastrous changes to the education sector” and called the move “the final nail in the coffin for teachers wanting representation on their own professional body”.
Sandra Grey, Tertiary Education Union national president, said the union will campaign at each NZ university and wānanga for their council to set aside one-third of council seats for democratically elected staff and student representatives.
In fact, the only people speaking in favour of the Bill, were Hekia Parata, Stephen Joyce and co.
Ask yourself why.
Sources and further reading:
I’d love to tell you what was reported in The New Zealand Herald, but they ignored the event completely. Of course.
Given this government’s reputation for corruption, dishonesty and blatant targeting of opponents, and the current Minister’s clear disregard for teachers and advisors, I have some questions:
How happy are we that the Education Minister will now hand-pick all representation on the teachers’ professional body and we teachers can no longer vote to select even one member to act as our representation?
How safe should teachers feel now that the hand-picked body is responsible for misconduct hearings?
How far will a new code of conduct go to silence voices of opposition and dissent?
How much faith do we have that this body is independent of political interference?
Why are we teachers expected to pay for this?
Parata is trumpeting her loving regard for teachers and how this respect has lead her to allow five whole teachers onto the panel of EDUCANZ, the replacement Teachers Council that no-one in the sector wants and that educators argued forcefully against at the recent Education Amendment Bill select committees.
She’s love us to believe that she has seen the light and is taking teachers seriously at last. NewsTalk ZB trumpets that “Minister of Education Hekia Parata supports the move saying it clarifies the intent for the council to have a strong core of teaching experience.”
What she and ZB are not so keen to mention is that she is the one that will pick the 5 teachers, and her alone.
Yes, that’s right – the teachers don’t get to choose their own representatives. Unlike doctors, lawyers or any other profession of note, we will have out so-called representatives chosen for us.
Why would that be the case?
Simple really, Hekia hand-picking them means she can be sure to get folk who will toe the line… yes men and women. EDUCANZ will be more a political tool than an educational one.
So, let’s face it, as back downs go, it’s a fizzer.
Parata in fact didn’t listen to the concerns of people at spoke at select committee over the course of many days, at many locations, and so eloquently explained why the proposed changes were not sound.
The Select Committee sat, Hekia pretended to listen, and she forged ahead with the plan as it stood…
(Can you tell I’m seething?)
Anyone trumpeting that one change is blind to the reality. And, given past form, the apparent change of heart was probably planned from the start so the spin doctors could whip up some media hoohah about how well they listened.
“Go in hard and make one pre-planned concession to look benevolent” could be on Hekia’s coat of arms.
It’s a farce. That is not democracy in action.
At select committee after select committee this government has gone through the motions and ignored all evidence in front of it. It’s done because it has to be done, for show, not to inform. They don’t listen. In fact, having attended some of them as a viewer, I can say that the left ask most of the questions for clarification whilst the right usually stay pretty much shtum. I assume they work on the old lawyer rule which is that one should never ask a question one might not want to know the answer to.
Meanwhile we are again in the position of the education system being sneakily undermined, bit by bit, while many teachers and the huge majority of the public are unaware of the repercussions of what’s going on.
Only when our schools are in the state of those in other reform-crazy countries like the USA and England will people finally take notice and ask what the hell happened. Then we’ll have a hell of a job to undo the harm that’s been inflicted.
Be warned, NZ, this will not end well.
The Education Amendment Bill has been reported back to the House with a recommendation that it be passed.
The legislation will makes it easier for unqualified and unregistered people to act as teachers in charter schools as well as removing the right of teachers to directly elect their own professional body.
“The government has completely disregarded the overwhelming number of submissions which called on it to allow the new teacher representative body to remain professionally rather than politically driven,” says NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter.
“Instead, once the legislation is passed, the Minister will handpick representatives for the new EDUCANZ body being set up to replace the Teachers’ Council.
“What other professional body has their representatives chosen by the Minister of the day rather than electing their own representatives?”
“This legislation is about ideology and undermining the teaching profession – not about addressing the needs of all New Zealand children and ensuring their right to quality public education.
“The government has also disregarded the views of New Zealanders who have made it clear they don’t want unqualified and unregistered people teaching in our schools.
“This is a major step backwards and will put the education of many children at risk.
“I am sure that New Zealanders will see how this legislation completely contradicts the government’s rhetoric about wanting to improve the quality of education.”
As submissions to the Education Amendment Bill (No 2) closed this week, more than 450 NZEI members had made submissions opposing the legislation. The Bill makes it easier for unqualified people to act as teachers, removes the right of teachers to directly elect their own professional body and replaces a high trust model with a low trust, compliance-based framework.
NZEI President Judith Nowotarski said all students deserved to have a qualified and registered teacher.
“The legislation undermines quality teaching by extending the status of people with limited authority to teach and allows for unqualified people acting as teachers in charter schools.”
“There is no place for unqualified people acting as teachers in schools or early childhood centres.”
“The Minister of Education claims to be creating a more independent body, valuing teaching and fully trusting teachers. But this Bill is really undermining the teaching profession. It is putting students at risk by lowering teaching standards for staff in charter schools. To top it off, the Bill expands government control by introducing the right for the minister to directly appoint every member.”
“Extensive consultation last year showed the sector clearly wanted an independent body whose members were directly elected out of the profession by the profession, along with appointments made in the public interest,” said Ms Nowotarski.
The new Education Council will replace the Teachers Council as the regulatory and professional body of teachers.
This Bill replaces the Teachers Council with EDUCANZ, and it is imperative you understand what changes that will usher in.
It is even more important that you send in a submission if you oppose those changes.
Thinking others will deal with it is as good as agreeing to the changes: If you think the changes are wrong, then you really do have to have your say.
Write and register your own submission here (the link is at the bottom of that page).
Do you want teachers’ professional body to be led by government appointees, have your voice silenced, have your professional status undermined, be replaced by cheap untrained labour, have LATs with criminal convictions in the classroom, and then pay for the privilege of all that?
If the answer is NO, then please make a submission.
Concerns are coming from all angles about just what EDUCANZ’ functions will be. It looks to many like it’s more groundwork for kneecapping teachers and laying the groundwork for corporatising the school system. As ever, all of this is being done on the sly.
In introducing the Education Amendment Bill (No 2) to Parliament, the Education Minister indicated a clear intention of pushing it through prior to the election, presumably in the hope that no one will look too closely at the proposed changes. Submissions close 30 April 2014.
The bill sets out an extensive new role for EDUCANZ which includes:
• Developing new sets of standards (separate criteria for registration and practising certificates and “standards for ongoing practice”). (We don’t know what all this means either but suspect it is connected to the five levels of performance pay that the chairman of the EDUCANZ Transition Board, John Morris, has recently written about.)
• Mandating an audit and moderation process of at least 10% of practising certificates.
• The Teachers Council Code of Ethics, currently an aspirational document reflecting the professional status of teachers, is to be turned into a more directive “Code of Conduct” while the EDUCANZ council develops its own code. The legislation says teachers will be consulted about this new code but, as we have seen so far, that does not mean any account will be taken of their views.
• The EDUCANZ council is supposedly more independent because it will be a statutory authority instead of a crown entity but it will be made up entirely of appointments by the minister of the day and it may not have a single practising teacher on it. There are no elected positions and no union positions. The board will be accountable only to the government of the day not to the profession.
• The registration fees are certain to rise significantly given the range of new tasks for the council.
PPTA is not opposed to the bill’s changes to the council’s discipline and competence provisions or to the role the council has in ensuring all teachers are “fit to teach”. We are, however, totally opposed to the range of unnecessary functions proposed for it as it can only result in substantial increases in the fees charged to teachers.
I am writing to express my grave concerns about the appropriateness of John Morris continuing in his role as chair of the Transition Board for the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (“the Transition Board”) in the light of the agenda he has prescribed for it in his publication Teaching Stars – Transforming the Education Profession (“the report”).
On page five of the report, Mr Morris advocates a central role for EDUCANZ in developing and overseeing a complex and highly bureaucratic performance pay system.
Mr Morris makes it clear in the publication that he chairs the Transition Board and fails to distinguish between his official position and personal opinion. He should have been explicit about what the approved goals for EDUCANZ were as distinct from his own personal views because otherwise it looks like he has made an official statement from the Transition Board.
As the Chair of the Transition Board, Mr Morris is required to act consistently with the terms of reference for the Transition Board, which includes a “no surprises” requirement and an obligation that members of the Board act consistently with the objectives and functions of the new body as defined by Cabinet. Mr Morris has failed to meet this requirement and substantially undermined any integrity of the reforms and process to be followed by the Board.
More concerning for me is the contempt that Mr Morris is showing for the 70,000 or so teachers who are going to be expected to fund the operation of his grandiose performance pay scheme. It is unacceptable that before teachers have had an opportunity to comment on the legislation and before the actual board has been formally established, the chairperson of the Transition Board has declared what the role and function of the body is to be. How can teachers have any trust in the process for establishing the new council when the chair of the interim board has revealed an agenda to use the body to introduce performance pay? There has been no consultation or agreement to these changes with the sector.”
It seems to me that the government is taking incremental steps along the road to privatisation of the public education system in New Zealand, with lots of small knives hacking away at the same poor beast until it is dead.
Only when it’s too late will people realise what has been lost.
Sources and further reading
http://www.teacherscouncil.co.nz/content/code-ethics-registered-teachers-0 (current code, under the Teachers Council)
Not worried about charters closing their doors and dumping your kids due to lack of profits?
What about charters that don’t teach your kids…
Yes, that’s right. This non-profit charter decided it could reinvent teaching and learning model and “changed the whole curriculum, brought in a model called the Big Picture where [students] had no more classes at all”…
Enjoy the story of the student with a perfect grade score of 4.0 (which is 100% in the US system), who failed her first ever class, thanks to this innovative non-teaching system….
Or the fact that they laid off the only two accredited maths teachers, so no students get any maths credits this year…
Ahhh yes, it sure does look like another great case of this innovate and miraculous system doing its stuff again…
I wonder if John Banks, Hekia Parata, Nikki Kaye or Dr Sharples would like to quote this example in Parliament at the final reading of the Education Amendment Act 2012 next week, when charters will be made legal here?
No, thought not.
A message from NZEI:
Changes to education legislation to allow for the establishment of charter schools, is now before Parliament.
Public submissions are invited to the Education Select Committee on the Education Amendment Bill with a closing date of January 24, 2013.
Make sure you take this opportunity to make a difference by doing a submission over the school break.
Charter schools are a symptom of the Government’s Global Education Reform Plan which would allow for unqualified people to teach, companies to make a profit from schools and for power to be taken away from the local community in the running of its local school.
The Government has no mandate for charter schools – or “partnership schools/kura hourua” as ACT MP John Banks and Education Minister Hekia Parata call them.
They are part of an agenda of privatisation and competition that has no place in New Zealand’s high achieving system.
Find out more at our Facebook Group We Don’t Want Your Charter Schools.
Some will be worrying that there will be no school to even return to, not least of all those in Christchurch who are facing mergers and closures, and the wonderful special needs staff at Salisbury School who are still fighting valiantly to keep their residential school open.
People all over the country will be writing submissions to parliament to prevent these closures. Parents who are worried for their children, teachers, principals and teacher aides whoa re concerned for their students. Kiwis concerned for their communities.
Anyone who has been following the rise of charter schools (or partnership Schools as they have been re-branded here) will be reading the Education Amendment Bill and making submissions about that, too, concerned for the devaluation of our education system by putting profits before people.
Many school staff will be worrying that they won’t be paid and that their break will be ruined by money worries and fighting bureaucracy. It’s bad enough being paid wrongly (or not at all) in term time, but school staff know that they will have real trouble getting pay woes sorted curing the break when school administration staff are on their holidays. That means stressed and worried teachers, teacher aides, caretakers, admin staff, and more, all at the one time of year when a rest is paramount to fire up for another big year.
Fast-Track Teacher Training
We will return to the first batch of teachers trained on a six-week intensive course, arriving in the classroom to learn on-the-job with the bare minimum in pedagogical knowledge and less still in classroom experience. We will be watching and waiting to see how that pans out for the trainees, the mentors and the students.
And as always at this time of year, many are worrying about finding a job because they were on short term contracts. Some will leave the profession – others will take their skills overseas.
And the rest…
Add to that league tables, National Standards, class sizes, performance pay, property searches, hungry students… the list goes on.
Yes,t his summer, teachers will be doing more than eating pavlova on the beach, planning and setting up their classrooms.
They will be worrying about the future of public education in New Zealand
and hoping that it’s not too late to stop the rot.
If you DON’T want them, you need to make a submission. It can take as little as one minute.
Or if you want to do your own but with some ideas, you can use a template. Mine is here, and PPTA have one here (scroll down a tiny bit to find it). Once you have copy and pasted your template, rejigged it to suit you, and saved it, just CLICK HERE, choose the Education Bill one, fill in and submit.
It’s that easy.
Have a voice.
Stand up for our kids and say NO.
Then TELL YOUR FRIENDS to do the same.
Further reading and information on NZ charter schools: