Enabling school boards of trustees to employ trainee teachers

New legislation 

Boards of trustees can appoint an employment based trainee teacher under section 91O of the Education Act 1989 (the Act). The Act has been amended by the Education Legislation Act 2016 that came into force on 29 October 2016.

Previous situation

Providing for a range of different models of initial teacher education (ITE) contributes to the system’s ability to innovate, improve, and attract skilled individuals into the teaching profession. Field-based ITE has the potential to increase the diversity and quality of ITE programmes available in New Zealand.

Previously the legislative framework governing the appointment of teachers did not support schools to employ field-based participants.

Impact of the legislation

The Act enables ITE providers to offer field-based programmes through the employment-based trainee teacher position. Recruitment and employment processes for these positions will need to comply with the State Sector Act 1988 and relevant Collective Agreements.

Why the change?

Under current settings, boards of trustees advertise and appoint people into positions. If they are doing that for a trainee teaching position, the most suitable candidate would be a trainee teacher. This means that providers will be able offer field-based programmes.

It’s important that ITE attracts high calibre students into teaching and equips them with the skills and knowledge they need to meet the needs of diverse learners. Providers of ITE need to adopt best practice in response to changing needs in school and student populations. By introducing this category, other ITE providers will be able to offer field based programmes and schools wanting to participate and take on a trainee teacher will be able to do so. Field based providers will need to meet the same approval, monitoring and review processes required by the Education Council as other providers.

Considerations for boards of trustees

School boards of trustees wishing to employ a trainee teacher will need to work in partnership with a field-based ITE provider who has been approved by the Education Council. They will then need to write to the Secretary for Education requesting that a position at their school be designate as an “employment-based trainee teacher position.” Once this position has been established, the School Board (following the appropriate recruitment and appointment processes) will be able to employ a person who is undertaking their ITE qualification through a field-based provider and holds a Limited Authority to Teach granted by the Education Council.

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