Questions and answers

Find answers to some of the most common questions about this process.

What is the Primary Career Framework?

The primary career framework is a single framework that sets out clear tiers of career progression that would apply to all primary teachers and principals in the state and state-integrated education system.

The initial high level concept is that progression through the framework will be based on the growth and demonstration of professional expertise. There are multiple ways in which expertise can be demonstrated, including by undertaking a specific role, but role will no longer be the sole determinant of progression.

Recognition and career progression could be a combination of a new ‘expertise dimension’, based on the framework, and the existing unit system for recognising the value of a particular role, as determined by the school.

Why is it necessary?

Career development for teachers is currently ad hoc. All teachers have access to the same base pay scale with different entry and maximum steps depending on their qualifications.  Most career progression depends on the school a teacher works at and whether individuals are in roles that are allocated units and/or allowances.  Other career opportunities are dependent upon vacancies being available and on the school or area that a teacher or principal works in.

With a career framework teachers and leaders will be able to develop their skills and expertise in a much more intentional way. They will know exactly what they need to do to attain the level of progression they want and work towards that in the knowledge that whatever they are doing will add to their professional portfolio.

A primary career framework will significantly contribute to ensuring New Zealand maintains a high status, high quality professional workforce. It will support and build quality leadership, teaching and learning within the system to advance every child’s education success throughout the learning pathway of the child.

Will all elements of this framework be compulsory?

There does, of course, need to be compulsory elements in this framework in order to ensure New Zealand maintains a high quality professional workforce.  However teachers will also be able to make more choices about what they want to do in order to progress their career.

Why is this framework just for primary teachers and principals?

NZEI has been calling for a career framework for its members for a number of years.  In 2016, as part of its collective bargaining settlement, NZEI and the Ministry to agreed Terms of Reference to develop a primary career pathway for teachers. That has now been done and we have designed the initial high level framework that we are taking to the sector.

Will the framework be extended to other parts of the sector, eg secondary teachers?

At this stage there are no plans to extend this framework beyond primary teachers and leaders.

NZEI Te Riu Roa aims to work on career development initiatives for other sectors, but they are outside the scope of this particular project.

What organisations are working on this framework?

The Ministry of Education, NZEI Te Riu Roa, the NZ School Trustees Association and the Education Council are involved and working on this together.

Where is the reward for teachers and principals in this framework?

This framework would give teachers and principals more clarity around the criteria they need to build their expertise and develop their career.  We know that teachers are motivated by many different things in their career.  Obviously remuneration is one of them but others are the ability to make a difference, work/life balance and flexibility, fun and satisfaction.

This framework would provide multiple career pathways for teachers and principals.

Will teachers and principals receive pay increases?

Any changes to the current salary structures will need to be negotiated when the collective agreements are next bargained from April 2018, which will be subject to the usual process of approving a mandate and ratification of a settlement.

How will salary structures work under the framework?

How remuneration is reflected within the framework will be one matter to be considered in the next phase of development.

Will teachers and principals receive more professional development?

The professional learning and development opportunities that teachers and principals receive won’t change as a result of this process but teachers and principals will have a clearer framework to assist them to work out what opportunities they should be pursuing.

Is the framework you are taking to the sector in Term 2 final?

No, it is the first of two engagement processes.

What we currently have is a high level concept. We are expecting it to evolve as we move through the process. We want to know what the sector wants and needs in any framework that is developed.

This framework is being used to start the conversation and to enable teachers and principals to think about what it might look like. NZEI will be leading the discussion with their members on this. NZSTA will be leading the discussion with Boards of Trustees as employers.

How long is the engagement?

There will be two rounds of engagement.

The initial high level framework will be taken to the sector in Term 2, 2017. The working group will analyse the submissions and they will be used to inform and evolve the framework before we take it to the sector again. That will be done in the first school term of 2018.