Updated: Jul 29
“Employment-related processes are independent of the Teaching Council. However, it is worth mentioning that an employer cannot ‘contract out’ of their statutory obligation to report concerns about a teacher’s alleged serious misconduct to the Council.
Under sections 489 to 491 of the Education and Training Act 2020, employers have mandatory reporting obligations when they are made aware of allegations of a teacher’s (or ex teacher’s) serious misconduct. The mandatory reporting obligations apply regardless of whether there is a private mediated settlement process going on in respect of employment matters. Mediated settlement agreements under s 149 of the Employments Relations Act deal with employment issues; they do not (and cannot) circumvent a school’s statutory obligation to report conduct concerns to the Council under the Education and Training Act.”
Background: a Hawkes Bay teacher was jailed for about a year soon after offending against children in his care which happened in 2014. While the male teacher was quickly exited from the school, it later emerged that there had been an unsuccessful attempt to cover up his offending using a Section 149 (mediation) operation where the resulting Record of Settlement purported to prevent the principal from notifying the police and Teaching Council. This unfortunately enabled further offending at the offender’s home during music lessons. See our 24 June article The NDA-protected pedo – could it happen here?
Teachers are employed by the Ministry of Education via their school’s Board of Trustees, and the Teaching Council is the regulatory body.