10 May 2014

English test upheld for teaching

10:31 am on 10 May 2014

The Ombudsman has decided the Teachers Council has the right to refuse to register graduates who cannot prove they have good enough English to teach.

A private training organisation in Auckland, the New Zealand Tertiary College, had complained to the Ombudsman about the council's refusal to register 120 of its graduates without additional English-language testing.

Investigations by the Teachers Council found the college had been accepting students who did not meet the agreed English proficiency standard.

The college said it interpreted the entry standards differently, and the council had treated its graduates unfairly.

But the Ombudsman said the council had the right to ensure graduates meet the agreed standards.

The college said it was working with all affected graduates to ensure they pass the test required for registration.

Teachers Council director Peter Lind, said the decision was timely given the number of international students studying in New Zealand.

He said there had been a view that simply enrolling in a course and working in an English-language context would bring students up to the mark, but that was not always the case.