We recently celebrated our first anniversary. As the professional body for teachers from early childhood education through to primary and secondary schooling in English and Māori medium settings, our role is to champion our profession and speak up and out on behalf of teachers.
We are growing up – maturing. While we’ve had some issues to navigate, we have now set our sights on a clear path ahead and, as highlighted in our strategic plan Our Path to the Future, have a five-year plan aimed at achieving our ultimate objective to “maximise the success of every learner through highly effective leadership and teaching”.
We have moved forward with the profession – gathering the views of teachers through an online survey and direct communication with unions and peak bodies. We have an active stakeholder group that meets with the governing Council every second month. We test with the stakeholder group that we are on track.
It’s important for teachers to understand our role now has moved far beyond one of providing the fundamental regulatory services.
If our primary focus is to elevate the status of our profession then our role should empower, enable, facilitate, support and lead. We also need to commit to creating an environment for developing and sharing best practice through robust research and sound evidence.
We are making good progress and are well on the track to providing the level of service and support you should expect of your professional agency in the 21st century. So let me run through some of the things achieved on your behalf in our first year of operation.
Strategic Plan – Our Path to the Future
This tells you what we are doing on your behalf for the next five years. The plan was a result of consultation. We ran a survey to seek the views of teachers. We spoke to key sector representatives and took their feedback on board. You told us you want us to explicitly champion the profession – to speak up and out on behalf of teachers. That is now in our strategic plan.
Centre for Education Leadership Excellence
We have a framework for the Centre of Leadership Excellence for Communities of Learning and consulted with key representatives in the profession about their expectations. We are holding regional fora around the country to extend the collective knowledge base and guide theoretical and practical application. We will build off the body of knowledge that comes out of this project. This is exciting and ground- breaking work. Other countries are looking, with interest, at this project.
We are taking a core part of our registration online. We are focusing on teachers who are renewing their full practising certificates as a first step because this is a large group and it’s where we can add the most benefit. We expect this to be up and ready in the last term but we are working on a solution for all teachers. We know it’s important and it’s a priority for us.
Code of Professional Responsibility, standards and values
We’re building on the existing Code of Ethics, which is now over ten years old, and working with teachers to develop a new code, one that is fit for purpose in the modern, challenging and dynamic world of teaching.
We’re also simplifying our standards so they reflect what we now know is important, while providing a clearer path for a teacher’s career. Teachers have told us they find the current standards and practising criteria confusing to navigate and apply.
Initial Teacher Education
Our paper Strategic Options for Developing Future Oriented Initial Teacher Education makes nine key recommendations on issues we see as critical to having an initial teacher education system that is future focused, agile and effective. We are working with our stakeholders to develop an ITE action plan to address the issues identified in the paper. Read the paper here
We are seeking the views of the profession on the review of how we fund schools and have been very clear about our bottom lines. Essentially our view is that leaders need to be empowered and fully informed, there should be no trade-offs between qualified teachers and unqualified staff, and that the advisory group’s input should inform the outcomes.
It is a privilege and a pleasure for me to steward the Education Council. I look forward to working with you over the next several years to build an organisation you see as valuable and meaningful.
Dr Graham Stoop