Teachers must be registered | The Jackal

3 Mar 2013

Teachers must be registered

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

In New Zealand, all teachers must be registered. If you are not registered, you can't teach. Overseeing the registration is an outfit called the New Zealand Teachers Council.

The council has just told Parliament that teacher registration ensures teachers are "subject to scrutiny" and "held to account for their professional conduct".

But there's no way we can know that. As the Herald on Sunday has revealed, the council's "scrutiny" and "holding to account" is done behind closed doors. It's against the law to report anything about a teacher's disciplinary hearing, even after the hearing has concluded and the teacher is deregistered.

I think it's best for the disciplinary process to be private, because if it weren't people like Rodney Hide would use that information to try and besmirch the reputations of all teachers.

The Teachers Council pulls a cone of silence over naughty teachers and their misdeeds.

Hide is basically saying that the Teachers Council is failing to forward cases of criminality to the police, and in my opinion his baseless claims amount to defamation.

The Teachers Council tells the Minister of Education it exists to set standards. But something is clearly amiss. Thirty per cent of students leave school ill-equipped to prosper in the modern world.

Rodney Hides' 30% is quite frankly wrong! Research conducted in the eighties showed that 20% of school leavers didn't have enough qualifications to succeed in the world.

Since then, there's been no further comprehensive research undertaken that shows educational outcomes have worsened, and some minor research that shows things have improved.

In fact our educational system is rated very highly by international standards, which makes Hides' entire argument for fixing things with charter schools rather defunct!

Moreover, NZ now has a long list of registered teachers convicted of the most vile abuse of students. Teacher registration has done nothing to protect these students.

There's no evidence to show that not registering teachers would reduce the occurrence of such crimes... In fact with a lack of any formal process to weed out such criminals, the opposite would likely apply.

Imagine the outcry in any other industry if staff were convicted of sexual abuse of customers as often as registered teachers are. No other business or industry would survive such an appalling record.

I'm not aware of any increase in sexual abuse cases within schools compared to any other industry that works directly with children, and Hide appears to be just making shit up again without any research to back up his accusations.

Child, Youth and Family for instance has a high percentage of social worker child abuse cases, but there's very little being done by the current government to remedy that problem. There's also very little public outcry because of a disproportionate amount of media coverage.

Unfortunately any profession that allows access to children is going to attract those kinds of people, and to say that the Teachers Union is somehow responsible for such disgusting crimes is reprehensible! Likewise, it's disgusting to suggest that such crimes would be reduced if teachers weren't registered.

The Teachers Council's failure is made worse by its closed disciplinary system, with all details subject to blanket suppression.

It has every appearance of a protection racket. Any disciplinary action it takes is hidden well away from public gaze.

So the idiotic Hide is ramping up his attack on teachers by saying their Council is protecting child abusers... What a stupid argument to try and gain ground for privatising our schooling system.

Clearly implementing charter schools that will be operated to make private profits will not reduce child abuse within educational institutions at all... Rodney Hide is simply deluded!

It's ironic that so called charter schools won't have to operate to any set charter that gives consistency across the education system... Instead they will basically be able to teach whatever they like while being granted extensive public funding to do so.

There's no evidence to show the charter schools National has planned will save the taxpayer any money at all, and because they'll be set up to make a profit for private investors, it's likely costs will increase while educational outcomes suffer.

Certainly the evidence people like Hide have supplied in support of privatising our educational system is inconclusive to say the least, which is something the Child Poverty Action Group highlight in a recent Scoop article:

Currently, all schools whether public or private, operate under a charter that sets out their contract with the school community and the state. Schools must comply with the Education Act’s National Curriculum and Teachers’ Council provisions. They are also obliged to be transparent in their operations and open to scrutiny.

None of these obligations apply to the proposed ‘partnership schools kura hourua’.

The proposed ‘partnership’ is between the ‘sponsors’ and the Minister for Education, not with the community. This removes the democratic decision-making power from local communities.

The privately owned ‘partnership schools’ would receive public funding, and would be given the power to absorb existing state schools, without requirements for transparency or public accountability or oversight.

Because they would be permitted to function without trained teachers, and without delivering the National Curriculum, there is no assurance that they will prepare their students for further education. This puts every one of their students at enormous and unnecessary risk.

That's a risk New Zealand shouldn't take.

Privatising schools is an Act party policy that John Banks negotiated with National to secure his single vote in parliament... John Key was desperate for that one vote because at times it's all their stupid neoliberal legislation passes by.

With the racist right wing Act party barely polling above 0.1%, there's obviously no mandate for their destructive policies. Therefore charter schools as envisioned by bigots like Rodney Hide and the criminal John Banks should be consigned to the dustbin where they belong.