5045 unregistered teachers? Nothing to worry about

Apparently we have over 5000 people teaching that the Teachers’ Council doesn’t know about.

The council has compared its records of registered teachers with the number of teachers paid through the Ministry of Education payroll and found 5045 unregistered teachers.

A further 433 teachers were identified as being paid to teach, yet the council has no record of them.

Letters have been sent to teachers who have let their registration lapse and those who have escaped the council’s radar.

Teachers Council chief executive Rob McIntosh said the numbers, in its annual report, should not alarm people and were a reassurance the council was picking up those who had fallen out of the system. Most unregistered teachers had previously been authorised and had simply let their practice certificates lapse through oversight or tardiness.

Teachers were legally allowed to teach for up to 10 days without being registered and that could account for many who were unknown to the council.

He said schools were obliged to check they were employing people fit for the job.

It appears the schools don’t care about following impractical rules.  

Teachers are required to renew their registration every three years, and it is unlawful to teach for more than 20 half-days without the correct authorisation.

The annual report revealed there had been a reduction in the number of teachers working unlawfully or without a practising certificate or correct authorisation.

School principals have been contacted to reinforce the importance of all staff being registered or authorised and a good response had been received.

Prosecutions were still on the cards as the council worked through the process and information needed to successfully go to court.

A key focus of the publicly available teacher register was to ensure those on it have “met and maintained a high standard of practice as detailed in the Registered Teacher Criteria”.

McIntosh said the number of teachers being reported for competence and conduct issues was increasing, but it wasn’t because there were more problem teachers. “It’s people understanding better their obligations to report these matters.”

You can see the farce here.  Teachers must be registered to there is “quality control”, yet over 5000 people are having access to kids with an unknown skill set and, statistically speaking, some of them are a threat to their pupils in ways that doesn’t need describing.

Teacher registration is specifically promoted to be the major factor in “conduct and competence” issues.   So what do we call 5000+ teachers that are running amok our there?

How about negligence?


– Jo Moir, The Dominion Post


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  • Tom McKechnie

    The only problem will be if / when any of the 5,045 dare to take a job at a charter school.

  • who’stoblame

    This is a joke right. My wife is a registered nurse and must renew registration every year, if not, she not work, end of story. Imagine if we had 5000 unregistered nurses practicing. Why are the left not up and arms about this. Oh thats right, no doubt these 5000 teachers belong to the union. Imagine if they all were laid off with no pay until their registration was sorted, the outcry would be deafening.

  • At $302.57 per applicant I would not register either as this is just a job tax.
    I thought it was illegal to pay to be an employee in NZ?
    BTW…the teachers council is missing out on about $1,500,000 in application fees.
    Who started this gigantic employee squeeze?

    • Opps that’s for overseas applicants, local get it cheaper.. $220.80.
      Anyway still a tax on employment.
      Has this lot never heard of being fair and reasonable?
      Oh that’s right its government controlled… silly me.

      • Still a cool million the Teachers Council are missing out on. If I was their financial controller, I’d be onto that pronto.

      • Michael

        At the primary school where I was on the board, the board paid the fee for the teachers.

    • rantykiwi

      This smells remarkably like the BSA rort – a raid of people’s wallets merely to line the pockets of a lucky few whilst adding zero value to society.

  • Jim460

    Teachers’ Council annual reports are available via:
    On reading these, it appears that the percentage of teachers in
    NZ state schools who are unregistered has increased from 6.7% in 2012 to
    9.6% in 2014. I’m not sure where they get this “drop” they mention in the MSM article.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Just wondering if these 5000 plus unregistered teachers are actually union members? Such a substantial figure makes a farce of the union resistance to charter schools when those legally entitled to teach are likely working with/alongside unregistered teachers. Perhaps registration might be considered before they can join the union movement but since they seem to have their own sliding scale that might be unlikely. Lol

  • Fat Sally

    What about the teachers who have renewed their registration, but then get sent a letter a month later saying their registration has expired?

    The office that processes the renewals is obviously not in direct communication with the office that sends out expiry notices.

    It has happened to me the last two times I have renewed. Absolute rigmarole once that happens, the principal then has to write a letter saying my forms were signed and sent in, before they actually go back and check.

    In between these times I am actually deemed an “unregistered teacher.”

  • Goldfish

    I would suspect that a vast majority of these 5045 “unregistered” teachers will actually be just a mismatch on name.

    In other words, one organisation got their database and did a comparison by name against another database and got 5045 that didn’t match. This can be for a number of reasons, like a middle initial or a mis-spelling, or even something as simple as database collation.

    • Ross15

      You have to be joking !! Presumably when a teacher is employeed they have to show the registration cert. or the school checks the registration list on line. Then the same details are supplied to the payroll people.
      Or are you saying this is also why Novapay had all the problems as well.

      • Whitey

        Novopay doesn’t record the teacher’s registration number, or indeed whether they are registered. Teachers have a unique employee number in Novopay, but I’ve no idea whether the Council’s database includes that employee number to check against. Call me a cynic but I would guess not. I suspect Goldfish is quite right.

  • Ross15

    “Teachers were legally allowed to teach for up to 10 days without being registered and that could account for many who were unknown to the council.”
    Well why aren’t these people clearly identified separately on the Council records so the Council doesn’t look like the idiots they are showing themselves up to be.
    BTW –where are all those people who ranted on about unregistered teachers in Charter Schools??