A textbook case of Teacher Registration and Council secrecy failure

I know I have bored some of you to death with the never-ending examples of bad teachers.  But there is a point to it.  If I didn’t highlight each and every occasion, you simply wouldn’t know the extent of the problem.

There are a number of dimensions to this.  One, is the suppression of any details – sometimes even the name of the teacher and the school.

The other is the fact that Teacher Registration is being held up by teachers and their unions as being an essential component in protecting the children from bad teachers, when the opposite is demonstrably true.

Take this case:

The Teachers Council has confirmed it is investigating the head of an Auckland Charter School which is set to open its doors to students for the first time this week.

Middle School West, in Auckland, was officially opened yesterday, but on Tuesday 130 students will begin their education there.

James Haggett is Principal of the Charter School, a position he took up in November last year.

The Teachers Council would not say what he was accused of, but a spokesperson for Middle School West said they understood the investigation related to an alleged indiscretion around the administration of examination entries in 2013, when Mr Haggett was deputy principal in charge of curriculum at St Peter’s College.

A spokesperson for Middle School West said it would ask the Teachers Council tomorrow if Mr Haggett should stay on, while being investigated.

It said they had secured a good reference from St Peter’s College before they hired Mr Haggett.

Here we have someone under active investigation, taking up a new position, while having been given the “good reference” from his previous place of employment to move the problem along.

Granted, a year ago we would not have known who it was, or what schools were involved.

But we still have the problem where dodgy teachers can continue to ply their trade exposing the schools and community to further risks.

Anyone who is under investigation, or has been under investigation by the New Zealand Teachers Council should automatically throw up a red flag during an employment procedure.  It is not publicly known if Mr Haggett disclosed his previous troubles, and was hired all the same, but due to the surprise, I suggest he didn’t.

If schools want to still employ someone with flags against their record, at least they do so with the full facts, and not driving blind with  both the previous school withholding salient information, and the Teachers Council not informing the new school of any historical or current investigations.

This continues to be untidy, and it doesn’t take a lot to clean it up.   There are only a few people in the way of this.  And they tend to belong to teachers unions.

In the mean time, the media are beating this up as a failure of charter schools


You might as well blame the manufacturer of the make of car Haggett drives.

It’s clear the charter school wasn’t given the information they needed, and Mr Haggett has not been forthcoming with all the important information, especially when he got to the “and is there anything else you know of that may have a bearing on your application” question.

This is a secrecy problem.  This is a union problem.  This is a Council problem.

This is putting the reputation of flawed person ahead of that of a new school, it’s staff and the children.




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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.