Teacher argues against proposed code of conduct

Stuff reports:

Another sticking point in the bill was around the introduction of a code of conduct to replace a code of ethics.

Jules Nicholas, a teacher with more than 16 years experience in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, said a code of conduct was not needed.

“We already have an aspiration code of ethics that we value and set high standards for us in the profession.

“I’m a teacher with three teenage children and expect that the teachers who appear in front of my children will adhere to the code of ethics.

“Do we really need a code of conduct? Are you saying that you don’t trust the thousands of teachers that work in the thousands of classrooms every day in the thousands of schools?”

I’m amazed anyone can argue there is no need for a binding code of conduct.

The chair of the soon to be scrapped New Zealand Teachers’ Council, Alison McAlpine, said the new council would need greater powers to discipline teachers than it currently had.

“The new professional body should have the power to cancel a teacher’s registration for competence reasons.”

Under the proposed amendments, a teacher’s practising certificate could be cancelled but not a registration, although that could be done in matters of serious misconduct.

That needed to be changed so the new body could cancel registrations based on incompetence, McAlpine said.

That would be good.

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