Abuse in care inquiry: Competence in te reo will eventually be mandatory for teachers - council

9:49 am on 21 August 2022

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care has been told competence in te reo and culture will eventually be mandatory for teachers.

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The Teaching Council says it will toughen its stance on the requirement that teachers improve their knowledge of te reo and mātauranga Māori over time. Photo: RNZ/Vinay Ranchhod

The commission is paying particular attention to the over-representation of tamariki Māori in state care and abuse.

Teaching Council chief executive Lesley Hoskin told the hearing principals already must verify that teachers were improving their knowledge of te reo and mātauranga Māori.

She said the council was focusing on the requirement, and would toughen its stance over time.

"The reality is that at some point, we're going to have to say no longer can you have a certificate to teach in Aotearoa New Zealand without that competence."

Hoskin said 317 teachers had failed to meet the requirement in the past year.

The responses of state agencies to the abuse and neglect of children, young people and vulnerable adults is being examined by the commission in a public hearing that runs until 26 August.

This week it is due to hear from representatives of Oranga Tamariki, The Department of Corrections, the Office of the Children's Commissioner, the Ombudsman of New Zealand, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, Te Puni Kokiri and the Public Service Commission.

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