The proposed hike in teacher registration fees by the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand will adversely affect early childhood education (ECE) centres and teachers, says the Early Childhood Council.
The Education Council says the current fees no longer reflect the services the Council provides to the teaching profession and is proposing the fee for renewing a teacher’s practising certificate will rise from an annualised figure of $73 to an annualised figure of $170.
The Council must become self-sufficient from July 2019 and without an increase in fees it will face a $9.595 million annual shortfall from that date.
However Early Childhood Council chief executive Peter Reynolds says the real increase would be even greater for any ECE teachers.
Reynolds says that many teachers’ Education Council fees were paid by the ECE services for which they worked – and many of these services would withdraw from this commitment were annual fees increased from $70 to $170 as proposed. Were this to happen, many teachers would find themselves paying their own registration fees for the first time in many years.
The Education Council fees increase, from the viewpoint of an ECE centre paying it on behalf of teachers, would be “just another in the many very damaging funding cuts that have been visited on ECE services since Budget 2010,” says Reynolds.
The New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF) has also voiced its disapproval. It says that the Council is funded by teacher registration fees yet the sector’s ability to work in collaboration with the Council is hampered by the profession not being able to elect its own members.
“A huge rise in teacher registration fees is mooted and principals feel ownership of their own Education Council's decisions is being undermined through having no democratically elected members,” says NZPF president Whetu Cormick.