Teachers Elect Their Representatives onto the Teachers Council
The first ballot for teacher representatives held on Saturday, 12 October 2002 has resulted in four people being
elected to serve on the Teachers Council for a term of three years. In all, 24,498 teachers voted in the election,
representing a 44.2 percent turnout.
Thirty-four candidates stood for the four positions on Council, representing four sectors. The sectors and the
successful candidates representing these sectors are:
Early Childhood Teachers Barbara Backshall
Primary School Teachers Dave Robinson
Secondary School Teachers Patrick Walsh`
Principals Nola Hambleton
These newly elected members join the following members to make up the eleven member Council, chaired by Stan Rodger. The
other members on the Council include representatives of the following organisations: the NZEI, Elizabeth Patara; the
PPTA, Graeme Macann; and the NZSTA, Barbara Arnott. In addition there are three Ministerial Appointments, Pembroke Bird,
Lili Tuioti, and Janet Kelly.
The purpose of the Council is to provide professional leadership in teaching, enhance the status of teachers in schools
and early childhood education, and contribute to a safe and high quality teaching and learning environment for children
and other learners.
The Teachers Council was established as a Crown entity under the Education Standards Act 2001. It replaced the Teacher
Registration Board (TRB) in February this year. While it still carries out functions relating to determining the
standards for teacher registration and the issue of practising certificates, it has significantly increased powers and
more responsibilities than the TRB.
One of the first tasks for the new Council is to prepare a code of ethics in consultation with the profession. It will
also establish advisory groups for early childhood and Maori medium, initially to ensure all teachers in these areas
become registered. The Council will also establish a Complaints Assessment Committee to investigate complaints of
misconduct about teachers as well as reports of convictions of teachers. A Disciplinary Tribunal will also be
established to conduct hearings in relation to misconduct and convictions of individual teachers.
The main emphasis of the Council is on professional leadership and encouraging wise practice in teaching. The Council is
also responsible for establishing professional standards for teachers and maintaining them. It must also determine
standards for qualifications that lead to teacher registration. In this regard, it has a role in quality assurance with
other agencies to conduct approvals of teacher education programmes on the basis of these standards.
The Council will also identify research priorities and where appropriate, promote and sponsor research according to
In addition to vetting all teachers the Council is required to coordinate a system of police vetting for non teaching
staff in schools and early childhood services.
BACKGROUND ON THE NEWLY ELECTED SECTOR REPRESENTATIVES
Barbara Backshall - Early Childhood Teachers
Barbara has 25 years’ experience in early childhood education, including kindergarten, playcentre and childcare. In
recent years she has been involved in teacher education, and is currently the Director of Early Childhood Teacher
Education at the Auckland College of Education. Her experience includes the Equivalency up-skill for childcare
educators, professional development for early childhood teachers, and the politics of the early childhood sector.
Dave Robinson - Primary School Teachers
Dave teaches at Waihopai and is married with three children in the education system. He has 22 years experience at the
chalk face. In 2002 Dave was a recipient of a National Excellence in teaching regional award.
Patrick Walsh – Secondary School Teachers
Patrick is the Deputy Principal of De La Salle College, Auckland, and a qualified Barrister & Solicitor. He is President of the Australia New Zealand Education Law Association (NZ Chapter) and author of
‘Educational Management and The Law (1972)’, ‘Schools Go to Court (1999)’. He is also a Lecturer in Education Law at
ACE, UNITEC, Massey University, and has been a Secondary Teacher for 17 years.
Nola Hambleton – Principals Representative
Nola’s career as a Principal has taken her from Southland to Auckland including a brief time as Principal of a Teacher
Training Unit on Nauru Island. She has served for ten years on NZPF Executive, two as President, and is currently
President Elect of International Confederation of Principals. Up until this election, Nola has been the interim
Principals representative on the Teachers Council.