Employment woes - renewing your practising certificate
PPTA is aware that there are possibly large numbers of teachers who have difficulty gaining access to a full practising certificate because they cannot meet the requirement for recent satisfactory teaching experience. Recent satisfactory teaching experience is defined in the Teaching Council registration policy as being “at least two years uninterrupted teaching in the last five years before making the application to renew”.
One of the main reasons teachers are not able to meet this requirement is because they are employed on short term assignments, often day relieving and with frequent gaps in service. Sometimes they are employed as short term relievers [including day relieving] when they should be employed as long term relievers. For the position to count towards “recent satisfactory teaching experience” it also needs to be at least 0.5 FTE.
Anecdotal evidence suggests discrimination
The people who most frequently fall foul of this requirement tend to be either beginning teachers or immigrant teachers. In the case of immigrant teachers there is much anecdotal evidence to suggest that they feel discriminated against because their job applications are not seriously considered.
Teachers who have Tōmua/Provisional practising certificates have five years in which to graduate to a Tūturu/Full practising certificate. If they have not done so they need to do a Teacher Education Refresh [TER] programme in order to renew their Tōmua certificate. If they have not been able to accumulate the two years’ uninterrupted teaching experience they will have had no opportunity to graduate to a Tūturu certificate. The TER programmes vary in length, starting from 12 weeks, and are mainly done online. There is a fast track option which allows the teacher to do the programme while they continue to teach, but only if they are in a full-time position.
Gauging the extent of the problem
There are teachers who find themselves in the position where they have taught quite regularly for at least 10 years but have never been able to meet the “recent satisfactory teaching experience” requirement. This may not be their fault at all; examination of their employment history will frequently reveal shoddy employment practices. These people are required to repeat the TER programme, which is not necessarily relevant to their needs at all. There is a review process under which teachers can request an exemption from the TER
requirement but it is rigorous [naturaly] and does not appear to be designed with these people in mind.
PPTA is wishing to gauge the extent of this problem. We know that many of these people do not contact us. If you feel that your employment history matches up to what is described above we would like to hear from you. Please write to email@example.com giving an account of your circumstances, and what has happened so far.