EDUCANZ will ‘champion teaching’ says transition board chairman

Issue: Volume 94, Number 4

Posted: 9 March 2015
Reference #: 1H9cqa

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Teaching: it’s one of the most important jobs in the world. For many it’s a calling; the opportunity to play a critical role in shaping young minds and nurturing talent for the future.

So why does research show that teaching isn’t held in the same esteem as professions such as lawyers or doctors? And why is teaching often passed over as a career option by our highest performing graduates?

John Morris

John Morris, EDUCANZ transition board Chairman

John Morris has firm views on the importance of raising the status of the teaching profession. Indeed, that’s the main reason he became the chair of the EDUCANZ transition board.

“EDUCANZ will be the professional voice and face of teaching. It will be responsible not just for registration and disciplinary procedures, but for quality teaching, professional and leadership development, advocacy and research. It will encourage greater public recognition of the profession, and work relentlessly to drive the teacher’s agenda. Now is the time for teaching,” says John, when asked about his hopes for EDUCANZ.

“This is the first time in New Zealand’s history, indeed probably the first time in the world, that the status of the teaching profession has the chance to be raised to such a high level. The Teachers Council has done a good job in making sure that teachers’ registration and disciplinary practices were robust, but it wasn’t resourced to act in any other way.”

John has good reason to be a committed advocate for change. He’s spent 40 years in secondary education including being headmaster of Auckland Grammar School and at Takapuna Grammar School; not to mention the many board, advisory and consulting roles he currently holds.

“Experience has taught me that society hasn’t been very good at recognising the fundamental role teachers play in building better communities, yet many of us remember that one teacher who made a difference at school. We as a profession have a responsibility to show the connections between good teaching and a decent and fair society.

“EDUCANZ will help our profession do this – and will wrap much more rigorous professional structures around teaching. It will identify and promote best practice, strengthen leadership and lead public discussion on teacher issues. It will champion teaching.”

There are nine council positions – including chair – up for nomination. These will govern EDUCANZ.

“We encourage and welcome nominations from any person, or group, with an interest or experience in education. The council will comprise at least five registered teachers who have current practising certificates, and most will come from the education sector.

“We want the very best on this council – we also want diversity and a broad range of skills and competencies. We want people with strong leadership, strategic and communications skills who will be innovators in educational thinking. They will also need to understand the new teaching and learning opportunities opened up by the digital revolution that’s happening in schools right now. People can nominate themselves – it's a fantastic individual opportunity to lead and influence in the education sector.

“This is a way of having a say, and playing a role in a historic development in the New Zealand education system. The future success of EDUCANZ will be contingent on the quality of its council – we have to get this right.”

Getting to know EDUCANZ

In John’s experience, knowledge in the sector about EDUCANZ seems low, but that’s easily fixed.

“EDUCANZ doesn’t come into being until the second half of the year. Information on the EDUCANZ website is a good place to get to know about the transition and the differences between the Teachers Council and EDUCANZ. Our interim chief executive, Julian Moore, will also be spending this period talking to the various sector groups, and the rank and file, about the changeover and what it means for teachers.”

In the meantime it’s business as usual for the Teachers Council. All teachers who are registered on the date of EDUCANZ’s establishment will be granted lifetime registration. And, all existing categories of practising certificates remain the same, so teachers won’t need to take any action until their practising certificate is up for renewal.

John says the focus at this stage is working with the Teachers Council to make sure the transition is seamless.

“We haven’t put a specific date on the transition because there’s still a lot to work through.

This is such an important change in education in New Zealand that all our effort must go into ensuring EDUCANZ is established under the most robust of processes. We’re taking it methodically, thoroughly and exactingly. It’s vital to get this absolutely right.”

EDUCANZ – Need to know

  • It’s coming – the Education Amendment Bill (No 2) has passed.
  • It will replace the New Zealand Teachers Council. But not before 1 July 2015 at the earliest.
  • Teachers will continue to deal with the Teachers Council during the transition phase.
  • It will be an independent statutory body able to comment freely on education issues.
  • The new EDUCANZ council must include five registered teachers who have current practising certificates.
  • It will be responsible for quality teaching, professional and leadership development, advocacy and research as well as registration and discipline.
  • It will have a mandate to raise the status of the teaching profession.

For more information

Teachers council website(external link) 
Educanztransition website(external link) 
For nomination forms go to the Education website(external link) and type EDUCANZ in the search function.
If you have any questions you can’t find answers for, email
If you’d like to talk to the transition chief executive you can email him direct –

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 1:10 pm, 9 March 2015

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