Proposed changes upset teachers

Nelson teachers believe proposed changes to the Teachers Council are "ridiculous".

About 300 members of the Nelson Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) met yesterday to discuss teaching issues.

Nelson PPTA regional chairwoman Anna Heinz said teachers vented concerns on representation on the new body replacing the Teachers Council.

The Education Amendment Bill (No 2), will establish a new professional body for teachers, the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (Educanz). It is set to replace the current New Zealand Teachers Council which has members elected by teachers and the union had a presence on it.

The Teachers Council's core business is managing registration, competence and discipline. Educanz would consist of nine members appointed by the education minister through nominations and direct appointments.

The changes would also see a move from a code of ethics for teachers to a code of conduct to be developed by the new council.

Heinz said teachers were concerned about the role and the potential make-up of the new council.

"We were drawing to the teachers' attention what is concerning in the bill."

There were concerns the new council would be made up of people appointed by the Government. There was room for a maximum of five teachers on the new council, but Heinz said there was no minimum requirement.

"It's possible for that whole group to consist of no practising teachers at all," she said.

"It's ridiculous, it is meant to be our professional body for teachers."

The PPTA meeting also covered issues with Novopay.

"There's such a lot of anger around it. There are ongoing issues right across Nelson schools," Heinz said.