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Teachers should elect their own professional representation

A new Bill introduced to Parliament today would give teachers the right to elect representatives to their own professional body, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.

“Our education system relies on a professional, trusted teaching profession and yet the current National government removed teachers’ rights to elect their own representation to their governing body.

“The Education Council, which my Bill will rename the Teaching Council, was established to raise professional standards and raise the status of teaching. It’s ridiculous that the profession itself has no say over who speaks on their behalf with regard to those matters.

“There are few other professions where the government has been so heavy-handed and undemocratic. Nurses, doctors, lawyers, accountants and real estate agents all elect their own representatives, why should teachers be denied that right?

“Any professional body for teachers will never be seen by the profession as an independent advocate for its interests as long as the governing body is appointed exclusively by the Minister of Education.

“This is about showing trust and respect for teachers. Under this current National Government that has been lacking all too often,” says Chris Hipkins