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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  • Cadwallader

    How can an investigation into a single person be a problem for the concept of charter schools? Even by the sloppy but slanted standards of the msm this is a stretch too far.

  • peterwn

    There is some ‘asymmetry’ here. If the Charter Schools can bypass teachers registration, then should they have access to the Council to check out prospective hires. Then if a Charter School lets an unregistered teacher go for seriously adverse reasons should the School be under an obligation to notify the Council.

    I am not trying to be anti-charter school but as far as I can see things are not sitting comfortably. It seems the Teachers Council needs to be re-jigged to handle both a registration role and a disciplinary role for those involved in childrens’ education whether a registered teacher or otherwise. In particular the ‘right’ of the teaching unions to appoint to the Teachers Council should be reviewed.

    Seems whoever hired this principal may not have asked the right questions. The school in question may need to swallow a rat and let the principal go even if faced with a five figure payout. Otherwise their opponents may have been handed a big stick to beat Charter Schools with.

  • Dave

    There is a high level of Mischief here, or simple pettiness. The teachers council suppress names and schools as Cam says, yet in the case of a CHARTER SCHOOL, which they hate as it takes revenue away, they come out and name and shame before there is time for a fair investigation or an explanation.

    The Council and their commie union buddies can’t have it both ways, same rules for all teachers, or you are invading their personal and professional privacy – you do not speak for Charter Schools remember.

    This make me so angry, its about them and their membership funds, not the childrens education at all. Sorry for the rant

  • Annoyed

    It says he’s under investigation. What gives them the right to out a guy that hasn’t even been proven guilty yet? Political move maybe? If he’s found to be innocent I’m pretty sure you won’t see anything about it in the MSM. They’ve got his name out there as being bad, they’ve got what they wanted.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Few would be bored with the truth of any situation Cam and it proving an elusive element for the MSM. It is the reason there are an increasing number of visitors to WOBH. Many seek the “story” behind so much of what is offered up as news these days.
    There is likely to be some time before this negative becomes a print and exposes more than one red face.

  • timemagazine

    The media has an obsession which these schools. Of course when there is some not very favourable news around.

    • wooted

      That’s why they preface “charter schools” with the adjective “controversial”

      • hookerphil

        Just like the controversial blogger ……….

  • Astuteas

    Once again in your blog you take the ill-considered position of guilty until proven innocent (“flawed person” & “Dodgy Teachers”)… and indeed you state that if anyone has ever been investigated (even if the allegation was subsequently unfounded) that they should then be required to disclose that and precluded from being further employed. Once again, what ever happened to the concept of due process and the right of the individual to actually defend themselves before being decreed guilty by you. The Teachers Council hasn’t even completed its investigation into this “alleged administrative indiscretion”… let alone found any “alleged indiscretion” as being substantive and/or chosen to pursue any proceedings what so ever against him at all.

    Equally applying your currently stated personal rational (by way of direct comparison) that would mean that in your world, any policeman who anybody ever made any administrative allegation against (whether substantive, proven or disproven) should not then be able to be transferred into any other role or position or continue to be employed within the NZ Police and you would also then publically name them and publically label them as a “flawed person & dodgy cop” because of an as yet unsubstantiated allegation that hasn’t even been fully investigated or proven.

    Everyone is entitled to their own personal opinion… however, it would be better for all concerned if publically stated opinions were consistently based on fully established facts and proven reality.

    Currently, Haggett is being publically hung, drawn & quartered in the media without any investigation into an alleged administrative indiscretion even being completed yet… let alone him actually being proven to be at fault in anything yet.
    Totally inappropriate.
    At least afford the man his legal rights and full due process before publically slanging him off based upon your own personal perception of what you currently can only imagine may (or may not) have actually happened.
    You should be one of the last people to rush to proclaim judgement upon someone else without the actual true facts being fully established… Given that you clearly hate it so much when others do it and/or say incorrect and unproven things about yourself.

    • Cadwallader

      I agree with your sentiment but where I am most roused by this story is that an “investigation” into a single identified person is being used as a tool to decry charter schools. To me this is iniquitous whether the teacher being investigated is found to have erred or not. The first sentence in the “news” report uses words “controversial” and “strife” which are hardly non-emotive.

      • Astuteas

        Totally agree with you. The MSM pointed rocket was always intentionally fired directly at the Government (“The Government’s controversial charter school experiment”)

        Haggett’s naming and shaming in respect of an as yet unsubstantiated administrative allegation is entirely collateral damage to their main objective of intentionally trying to damage and slur the National Government.

        I am just aggrieved when anyone (Cam included) rushes to make final judgement and public statements about anyone without all of the true proven facts being fully established and the alleged person being afforded due process and the opportunity to defend themselves.

        • Cadwallader

          Thanks but despite not needing defending, Cam hasn’t made a final judgment. His post is pinioned on the “investigation” into an allegation. The allegation such as it is seems to be about an administrative matter and not a salcious one.

          • Astuteas

            Cam has made a judgement, as he personally chooses to already decry and publically label Haggett as a “Flawed Person” without any personal knowledge of all of the true facts as to what is even alleged, let alone whether it is even substantiated or true.

          • Cadwallader

            Fair enough I missed the reference to a “flawed person.”

          • Astuteas

            I don’t know Haggett from a bar of soap. I have no inside knowledge of all of the facts of his current issue. It appears at worst (if at all) it is an alleged administrative indiscretion. An investigation hasn’t even been physically completed yet.
            Therefore, there is no way in hell that I would presume him guilty of anything… let alone publically brand him as a “flawed person”

            Everyone deserves the right to due process and to be treated fairly. Upon any conviction, or their own admission of any wrong doing, then everyone deserves any ridicule or criticism that their actions may subsequently receive.

          • I love it how it’s Cam’s fault when it is actually the MSM who brought this to the surface. Forgive me for not believing all your assertions about yourself. You’re way too emotional about this for it just to be a random issue to you.

            As for ‘flawed person’, that’s about the most gentle description of someone under investigation I’ve even seen on this blog.

            I’m sure the money was just “resting in account” *

            * pop culture reference

          • Guest

            Father ted.

          • Astuteas

            The problem is that this is not just a random issue. It is constantly occurring in the MSM and also very regularly here at Whaleoil also. Where various people are maligned, accused and have their character and personal reputation tarnished by people that should know better. In most cases, prior to any investigation even being completed, any conviction being entered and/or due process being followed.
            In recent times think of the treatment of Judith Collins, John Banks, Mike Sabin, the Prime Minister & now currently James Haggett.
            I at least are entirely consistent in suggesting that peoples public opinions should be based upon proven and substantive facts for a change.
            So I take it from your comments Pete that you must have physical evidence and proof “the money was just resting in account” in respect of Haggett… and if you do then get yourself on down to the Teachers Council and/or the Police with your evidence tomorrow and Haggett will then get whatever you believe is coming to him.
            Strangely, according to Andrew’s above comment 3-hours ago, Haggett has apparently now made a refuting statement saying “It involved nothing financial”
            So go on Pete, prove him wrong

  • Cadwallader

    Who is Elesha Edmonds who wrote this dubious stuff?

  • damm good thrashing

    They had ‘no idea of the concerns of his former school’……didn’t they investigate before appointing him?

  • Anthony

    In a statement Haggett said: “While at St Peter’s College I made an administrative error and compounded that by continuing with the process as opposed to correcting it immediately. It involved nothing financial.”

    Poole said his wife Karen, the organisation’s business manager, had asked St Peter’s whether there were any issues with Haggett and if they would hire him again, and were told respectively no, and yes.

    ACT leader David Seymour was among those at yesterday’s opening ceremony. Seymour, also under-secretary to the minister of education, said he was aware of the complaint about Haggett. The council’s processes would sort the matter: “The worst thing I could do is to prejudge it if there isn’t anything perverse,” he said.

    • Sunshine

      Even if James Haggett did as is alleged, I would still send my child to any school he was the Principal or a teacher at. In my experience he is one of the most organised, dedicated teachers I have ever come across. He has enormous respect from pupils, staff and parents. It kinda sounds like sour grapes from the Teachers Council to me because he has joined the “other side” the Charter Schools that they so desperately want shut down.
      Funny that this allegation is only come to light since he joined the Charter School.