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Developing a Code of Professional Responsibility

Teachers hold a position of trust – teaching and nurturing young New Zealanders.  We want the Code of Professional Responsibility to honour the privilege of being a teacher and reflect the high expectations the public rightly has of us when we are entrusted with the education and care of  their children and young people. This is an opportunity to lift the status of our profession and build on its reputation as one which values the highest standards of behaviour and professionalism. 

We are working to develop of a Code of Professional Responsibility for teachers. This code lets learners, their families/whānau and the public know the standards of behaviour they can expect so they can have full confidence and trust in our profession.By law, the new code needs to be in place by 1 July 2017 and will replace the Code of Ethics for Certificated Teachers which was written in 2003.

Feedback from our online surveys

We invited teachers and other stakeholders within the profession to provide feedback through a series of focus groups and online surveys to help guide the development of the code. The opening survey invited feedback regarding the role the code needs to play for the profession and the degree to which it needs to reflect the interests of teachers, and also learners, families and whānau, and employers. The next survey explored the support the code should offer teachers by considering a range of scenarios, based on some of the cases that have been brought to the Council. You can find full, candid summaries of the reponses from each of the two surveys in the links below.

  • The full summary of responses to the opening survey is available here. (956 responses. Explores the role of the code)
  • The full summary of responses to the second survey is available here. (543 responses. Considers the code through a range of scenarios)

Current Survey

Our third and final survey for 2016 is currently live, exploring the values that should be embodied in the new code and professional standards.

Thanks again to all those who have taken the time to respond. Your feedback is helping shape our approach.

Who will the Code of Professional Responsibility apply to?

The Code will be binding on all teachers who hold a practising certificate and people who hold a Limited Authority to Teach. It will apply to teachers regardless of where they practice, whether this is early childhood education, primary, intermediate or secondary schools, Māori medium or tertiary settings.


We are aiming to have a draft code for you to review in the New Year. We'll look to incorpoate feedback from across the profession and then finalise the code together in time for 1 July 2017.

How will the code be developed?

We want to work alongside you to help shape the code so it's right for our profession now and in the future. We will use lots of ways to work with teachers and teacher representatives to ensure every opportunity is given to own and champion the code . Representatives from the following groups are providing us with advice on the code as it develops as well advice on consultation.  

  • Auckland Primary Principals Association
  • Early Childhood Council
  • Independent Schools of New Zealand
  • Ngā Kura A Iwi o Aotearoa
  • New Zealand Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools
  • New Zealand Catholic Education Office
  • New Zealand Council of Education Deans
  • New Zealand Educational Institute Te Rui Roa
  • New Zealand Kindergartens
  • New Zealand Normal and Model Schools
  • New Zealand Pasifika Principals Association
  • New Zealand Principals Federation
  • New Zealand School Trustees Association
  • New Zealand Specialist Classroom Teachers
  • Post Primary Teachers Association
  • Secondary Principals Association of New Zealand
  • Te Akatea
  • Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand
  • Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori

·         For more information have a look at our FAQs.

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