Annual teacher certificates ditched following High Court ruling

Teacher practising certificates will return to being valid for three years after a High Court ruling that the professional body acted unlawfully when it changed to issuing annual certification.

Classroom. (File photo) Source:

The reversal will take place from next week, with renewals of the certificate that is required by teachers to work costing $220.80, as they did before the certification term changed in February.

The Teaching Council said in a statement that approximately 12,000 teachers who received a one-year practising certificate, will be re-issued with a three-year certificate.

“Teachers do not need to do anything, but will see the changes updated on the public register and in their account on our online system, Hapori Matatū,” a spokesperson stated.

The online application system will be taken offline over the weekend to make the changes.

“We are doing everything possible to ensure teachers are not inconvenienced during this process,” a spokesperson said.

A spokesperson stated the organisation is still working through further changes that need to be made in light of the judicial review brought by the secondary teachers’ association PPTA.

Teachers may be invoiced for a top-up cost at a later date.

“The Council is also working with the Minister of Education and the Ministry of Education to ensure the Council remains financially stable while we work through the implications of the judicial review,” she said.

PPTA president Melanie Webber said the union is "really pleased" about the reversal.

“They’ve affirmed our interpretation of the decision that this is what should happen,” she said.

“It’s really unfortunate that the Teaching Council misunderstood the legislation before inconveniencing this many teachers.”

The High Court ruling noted multiple errors were made by the Teaching Council throughout the process of changing the certification term, but the main issue was the revision of the certificate term with no teacher consultation.

The Teaching Council has previously said the move from a three-yearly certificate with a $220.80 cost to an annual certificate costing $157 was necessary to continue its functions and stop the professional body relying on Government top-ups.

Last year more than 31,000 people signed an Action Station petition protesting the price hike.