4 September 2012
Government rejects charter school teacher qualifications recommendations
Documents just published reveal the Government rejected its own Ministry’s recommendations in allowing unregistered
people to act as teachers in charter schools.
The Ministry of Education said allowing unregistered people to teach in charter schools would create a “high” risk of negative impacts on students’ education and “significantly damage the credibility” of the Government. Its recommendations were contained in advice to Cabinet prior to the Government’s announcement in
early August of a framework for charter schools.
The framework permits private companies and not-for-profit groups to set up schools to employ unregistered people to act
as principals and teachers.
Education union NZEI Te Riu Roa says the Government’s decision has put ideology ahead of quality education for students.
The Minister of Education’ quality teaching agenda is in tatters, NZEI President Ian Leckie says.
He says the Government is putting children’s schooling and future life success at risk simply to ensure charter schools
can skimp on costs by hiring unqualified staff to act as teachers.
“We believe every child deserves success at school – with the help and support of a qualified and registered
professional,” he says. “Teachers, like doctors and lawyers, strongly believe that registration ensures a robust and
high-performing profession and gives the public the confidence that teachers are competent and safe. It is unethical and
unfair to let children be guinea pigs in a charter school experiment where anyone could be put in front of them in the
He says recent UMR polling undertaken by NZEI also showed parents strongly agreed that teachers in charter schools
should be registered, with 86% agreeing that teachers should be registered, just 4% disagreeing, and 10% unsure.
Note to editors:
“the overall potential for a negative impact on students’ education from teachers (sic) who do not meet the minimum
standards for the profession is high…Teacher registration is one of the most influential levers in raising teacher
quality across the profession… Allowing charter schools to stand outside this work will significantly damage the
credibility of the Crown.”
New Zealand Educational Institute
NZEI Te Riu Roa members work in every community in New Zealand, leading and advocating for quality public education.
We are the 50,000 principals, teachers and support staff who work in primary, area and secondary schools as well as
early childhood centres, special education and school advisory services. We come together as NZEI Te Riu Roa - New
Zealand's largest education union, a Treaty based organisation and a powerful advocate for quality public education.
We have the most important job in New Zealand - educating for the future.