So glad teacher registration is keeping kids safe…oh wait

Chris Hipkins

The Labour party opposes charter schools. One of the reasons (a false one) is that they are allowed to recruit teachers who aren’t registered.

Their rationale is that teacher registration keeps kids safe.

I’m so glad teacher registration is keeping kids safe…oh wait:

Drunk drivers, fraudsters and child pornography offenders are among 627 New Zealand teachers who received a criminal conviction in the past five years.

Only 26 of those teachers were struck off the register between 2013 and 2015 while none were struck off in the past two years.

Right there is the outrage. Only 26 teachers were struck off despite 627 of them sporting criminal convictions. Can anyone smell a bad case of patch protection?

In total, the Education Council (EC) received 2794 complaints, mandatory reports and notifications of convictions over the five-year period. 

However, the EC said it was unable to provide statistics on how many of the 127,426 registered teachers across the country had a criminal conviction on their record, they could only provide the details of those who had received a conviction in the past five years.

The EC added that the only convictions that were required to be reported were those which had a possible penalty of three months or more imprisonment.

Yeah, teacher registration is keeping kids nice and safe. If we accept that 5% of the population are complete ratbags, then it stands to reason that at least 5% of teachers are likewise ratbags.  That means that 6371 ratbags are sliding under the radar despite teacher registration.

In the past few months several teachers made news headlines for criminal behaviour such as former school principal Paul Roger Herrick who sexually assaulted his pupils and was released on parole in January, and a former Waikato teacher who had sex with a student in his classroom after school that was sent to jail for two years.

From January to November 2017, 104 teachers received convictions. There were 114 in 2016, 107 in 2015, 136 in 2014 and 166 in 2013.

The criminal convictions range from drug and alcohol offences to fraud, violence and sex offences. The majority were for alcohol and drugs (409), followed by dishonesty (46) and violence (31).

Drug, alcohol and violence convictions should result in automatic disqualification.

Minister of Education Chris Hipkins said teaching was the largest profession in New Zealand and the proportion of deregistrations was very small.

“That said, teaching is a special job because it involves interaction with and influence on young children, and so the profession needs to take a safety-first approach, depending on the type and severity of conviction,” he said.

Hipkins said getting the balance right between teachers’ rights and children’s safety was important to maintain the public’s confidence.

He thinks that is great – that deregistrations are very few. I think that is alarming.

Like everyone else teachers had a right to expect natural justice and a degree of privacy, he said.

Hipkins said whether a teacher without a clean record should be allowed to teach depended on the type and severity of the offence.

Crim hugging to maintain union numbers.

Auckland University professor of Education Peter O’Connor said the notion of self-disclosure was a tricky one.

“It is an honesty system, with any honesty system there can be issues, but there is no evidence to suggest this honesty system doesn’t work,” he said.

O’Connor said teachers deserved a level of privacy and the disclosure of a criminal offence should be the employer’s decision.

“If a criminal conviction relates to a teacher’s personal life, it is an issue between the employee and the employer – it is not the business of parents,” he said.

“Do we then start making a teacher’s sexual orientation or political beliefs a public issue?” he said.

Oh, I am sure that the SJWs will make sexual orientation and political beliefs a public issue. Let’s put that to the test. I wonder how loud the outcry would be if I decided to take up teaching. But can anyone else see the problem with running an “honesty system” when dealing with people with criminal convictions?

As for the claim that there is no evidence the honesty system doesn’t work: really? Only 26 teachers were struck off despite 627 convictions for, amongst other things, dishonesty offences, sexual offences and drug and alcohol offences.

NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart said there are very strict protocols in place in schools and services to ensure child safety and the quality of teachers’ professional practice.

“In some cases, the EC has deemed name suppression is appropriate to assist a teacher’s rehabilitation. We have confidence that the Education Council protocols ensure that the safety of children is paramount in the small number of cases where this occurs.”

The NZEI probably insists the union get involved to save the various ratbags.

These statistics aren’t encouraging.



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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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