Bet he was registered (AKA: what’s the point of teacher registration?)

One of the major benefits of teacher registration is that it assures quality.  It keeps out pedophiles, rapists, thieves and other vermin.

Except it never has.

A teacher who was jailed after losing about $1.5 million of investors’ money in a failed Ponzi scheme has been censured and deregistered by the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal.

Rene Alan Chalmers was sentenced in Auckland District Court in January last year to serve four years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to 14 charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, dishonestly using a document and making false statements to investors.

In a recently released decision, the tribunal said Chalmers’ offending was “dishonesty at the highest level”.  “In our view, we would not be discharging our responsibilities to the public and the profession were we to allow this teacher to retain his registration.”

The offending was so serious, the tribunal said if Chalmers was to attempt to reregister in the future, they would be surprised if the application was treated “sympathetically”.

The Pukekohe teacher’s convictions stemmed from trading foreign currency and misleading banks when buying three Bay of Plenty properties.

He also made 519 false statements to 64 investors about his company in which its parlous financial position was not disclosed.

During sentencing, prosecutor Dale La Hood said the operation was never viable and was a Ponzi scheme.

On the good side, the name suppression of offenders seems to be removed at the time of conviction, so we can name Rene Alan Chalmers for the scumbag that he is.  In the past, and certainly still now, many teachers that fall foul of the Council and are deregistered still enjoy suppression, leaving them free to travel overseas and steal or kiddie fiddle all over again.

It’s good to see more daylight, but we can’t stop here.


– Rebecca Quillam, NZME


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  • mike

    I was puzzled by this article, was he a teacher when he committed the act? It says he was living in the UAE when he did the deed.

    Did he become the Deputy Principal after the fact? If he did then why link his current role to his old offending?

    • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

      supposedly to become a Deputy Principal (a position of responsibility, trust and confidence, as well as requiring certain educational abilities and experience) you should have a “good” background.
      and in any case, certain behaviours become habits.

  • Felicity Flutterby

    This is but the tip of the iceberg …..
    Those in the teaching profession do not talk for fear of never getting another job.
    The Teachers Union protects bad
    Watch this space

  • HB

    Well due to losing his registration he can no longer teach. I don’t think pre-crime is cause for not being able to get registered and no-one is psychic? I guess that the scheme helps to ensure quality, rather than as a 100% guarantee. What is 100% guaranteed these days with employees? There has been a few scandals lately in high profile positions in other government areas and I guess these people met employment criteria at the start too?
    The teacher registration scheme ensures that once it is known someone is unsuitable they can be excluded from schools.
    I am not sure what Felicity is going on about? You often see similar statements on these sorts of threads with absolutely no detail/proof. I personally haven’t seen this. Teachers I know cannot stand other teachers who bring our profession into disrepute and want rid of them.