Feedback so far
The draft Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession were released on Friday, 10 March. When the draft was released, we invited teachers, learners, and families/whānau to provide feedback on the document, via a survey, submission template, or submission letter. Below is a summary of the responses from week one.
Feedback on the draft Code
When asked how well the draft Code describes the expectations of ethical practice in Aotearoa New Zealand, 58% feel it does so completely (5 on a 1-5 scale), 33% feel it does so almost completely (4 on the 1-5 scale), and the remainder felt it does so adequately (3 on the scale).
The responses to each of the four commitment statements are similarly positive, with the vast majority of responses (40-60% in each case) indicating the commitment statements completely capture the expectations. There is a single negative response for each of the four statements, giving a single “Not at all” response in each case.
In terms of the comments, the key themes include:
- a desire to see a clearer definition of what “a high standard” means exactly
- concern whether the Code is equally achievable in every school setting (for example are teachers in more challenging learning environments, working with more disadvantaged learners or working with disabilities disadvantaged against achieving the expectations outlined in the Code?)
- concern that the Code goes too far in its expectations around the impact of our personal lives on our work
- support for the idea of helping teachers become lifelong learners
- a question about whether it’s best to integrate the bicultural commitments within each Code statement or whether that should be a stand-alone commitment on its own
- a desire for more clarity in some of the guidance examples and what the expectations are of school leaders when the expectations of the Code aren’t being met
- some very positive statements regarding the comprehensiveness of the Code, and its value for supporting beginning teachers in particular
Feedback on the draft Standards
89% of participants felt that overall the Standards describe effective practice for a teacher in Aotearoa New Zealand, with 81% feeling that there are not any aspects of quality teaching that aren’t covered in the draft Standards.
The only theme that emerges in the supporting comments are the importance of support for implementing and understanding the Standards in practice, particularly for beginning teachers and whether they are expected to have the same ability to meet the Standards as an experienced teacher.
Looking at each individual draft standard, the vast majority (75%-84%) of participants felt each standard adequately describes that specific aspect of quality practice.
Some of the other key themes that emerge in the comments include:
- questions about how best to balance our bi-cultural foundations with our increasingly multi-cultural society
- concerns about the increasing expectations and workload teachers face, and whether the draft Standards are adding further to this
- agreement that ideally parents and learners should be involved in setting the next steps for their learning – but a need for greater clarity on how these processes might work.
- questions around how expectations of recognising the unique status of tangata whenua are practically applied in a single-subject teaching context such as maths
Feedback on the values
Participants strongly agree the descriptions help capture what each value looks like in practice, with some very positive comments (“I love the values. Ka rawe,” “…well chosen and easy for a Principal/Teacher to connect to and feel ownership of”).
The only negative comments indicate some concern about acknowledging New Zealand’s bi-cultural commitments at the exclusion of our multicultural social context.
There is a strong appetite for a range of resources to help unpack the Code and the Standards and support their implementation in practice, including a strong desire to see it integrated within professional learning and development. There is a particularly strong desire for a supporting handbook, as well as discussion packs, online learning modules and a poster. Many participants highlighted the need for face-to-face discussion to unpack the Code and the Standards and what they might mean in practice together in their school or centre.
As at Thursday 16 March, there are 73 responses to the consultation through the online survey. The participants so far are primarily:
- classroom teachers (34%) and those in leadership roles (32%),
- from secondary settings (42%), followed by Primary (23%) and ECE (20%).
- those with more than 10 years teaching experience (65%), followed by 6-10 years (18%) and 0-2 years (11%)
Have your say
If you have already participated in the consultation, we thank you for your input. If not, we encourage you to read the draft, have your say, and encourage your colleagues, learners and their families/whānau to do the same.