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Labour’s bill to restore teachers’ voice

The ability for teachers to voice legitimate concerns and thoughts about their profession would be restored under Labour’s private member’s bill that was drawn from the ballot today, says Labour MP Ruth Dyson.

“Under my bill, the Education (Teachers’ Code of Ethics) Amendment Bill, teachers would be given a voice that has been stifled under the National Government.

“Teachers have been muzzled when it comes to voicing legitimate concerns about important education issues, such as the botched and misguided National Standard’s regime. This bill would restore that voice.

“A certificated Teachers’ Code of Ethics would replace the code of conduct that currently supresses teachers, and we have the backing of the teaching profession to pursue a better deal for teachers who need to speak out about matters that impact on education.

“A Code of Conduct could be used as a punitive measure to constrain the ability of teachers to speak out in an area in which they are the experts. This would dampen debate about issues that have high public interest.

“We trust our teachers to guide and educate our children, we must also trust them to have valid and valuable thoughts about the state of education in New Zealand. Education is no ordinary workplace, so it is entirely appropriate for our teachers to have a say in the future of education.

“This is my second bill to be drawn from the ballot, after my Rates Rebate (Retirement Village Residents) Amendment Bill received unanimous support last year. Similarly the Code of Ethics bill makes good sense too and I look forward to strong support from all parties,” says Ruth Dyson.

The Education (Teachers’ Code of Ethics) Amendment Bill can be found here