Twenty South Canterbury teachers have been formally accused of dodgy acts in the past five years, including one whose registration was cancelled for sexual misconduct.
Their alleged behaviour includes dishonesty, physical mistreatment of children, inappropriate communication with a student, staff bullying, and not meeting contractual obligations.
Of the 20 South Canterbury cases, four were referred to the New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal.
Of those, one teacher's registration was cancelled, one teacher was suspended for a year, and the remaining two cases are yet to be heard.
The cancelled registration was the result of sexual misconduct.
Sixteen of the cases reported to the New Zealand Teachers Council were the result of mandatory reports filed by the teachers' schools, and four were complaints made by members of the public.
Of the four allegations made by the public, only one was upheld.
In more than half the cases referred to the council's complaints assessment committee, no further action was deemed necessary.
One South Canterbury case is still being investigated, another two teachers were referred for competence assessment, and two were censured.
One teacher was censured because of dishonest conduct and the other because of misconduct involving unprofessional behaviour towards children.
The figures were obtained through an Official Information Act request by The Timaru Herald to the teachers council.
Changes to the law are under way, which will allow cases brought before the disciplinary tribunal to be made public.
At present, tribunal decisions are published on the teachers council website but the names of teachers and witnesses, and other identifying factors, are withheld.
The automatic name suppression granted to any school staff member subject to complaints was criticised by MPs and considered to fall outside the Education Act's intentions.
In future, teachers could lose their right to name suppression and, in some instances, the media could be allowed to report on disciplinary tribunal hearings.
Teachers council director Dr Peter Lind said some identity protection was required for the sake of the children and young people who were overwhelmingly the victims in these cases but he was in favour of the changes, which he expects will become law next year. "The parent of a child who witnessed an incident may be concerned about information being released around details of the individual," Dr Lind said.
"We want to protect the innocent parties but make sure teachers are held to account.
"We need to find that balance between getting witness statements and having the flexibility to hold some cases in private when needed," he said.
Post Primary Teachers' Association president Angela Roberts said she had no sympathy for teachers hiding behind name suppression but pointed out that was not always the case.
"The council needs to be able to balance the paramount need to protect children but still enable teachers that are found innocent to also be protected," Ms Roberts said.
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