TEACHER CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE
Hamilton Junior High School Board of Trustees will comply with all the requirements of the current teachers’ collective employment (and the rules of the New Zealand Teachers’ Council) when considering matters of teacher conduct and discipline.
- To ensure a high standard of teacher conduct and discipline
- To ensure honesty and fairness in any teacher conduct and discipline procedures
- To ensure a fair framework for the teacher conduct and discipline process
- To comply with the current collective contract.
- A breach of discipline usually will involve an aspect of Section 2.4.7 of the collective agreement;
- Disobedience of lawful orders and instructions
- Negligence, carelessness or indolence in carrying out her/his duties as a teacher
- Gross inefficiency as a teacher
- Misuse or failure to take proper care of school property or equipment in her/his custody or charge
- Absence from duty without a valid excuse
- Conduct in her/his capacity as a teacher or otherwise which is unbecoming to a member of the teaching service.
ii. Where a breach of discipline appears to have occurred, the Board shall determine whether it is appropriate for disciplinary procedures to be initiated.
iii. If the facts are clear and acknowledged; resolution may be achieved informally by discussion between the parties without the need for initiating disciplinary procedures.
i. Regardless of circumstances the teacher shall be informed of any allegation of a breach of discipline and of her/his right to consult the Union and of the right to be represented at any stage.
ii. The disciplinary procedures will be conducted in a manner that protects the mana and dignity of the teacher concerned.
iii. Teachers involved will be allowed to seek whanau/family, professional and/or union support.
iv. When formal disciplinary procedures are initiated the Board will adhere to the following procedures:
a) Advise the teacher in writing of the reason for initiating disciplinary procedures, invite the teacher to respond in writing, advise the teacher of her/his right to request union assistance and/or representation at any stage.
b) Carry out an investigation, invite the teacher to attend any investigation and make a statement concerning the matter either personally or through a representative.
c) At any time before the matter has finally been disposed of, and if the Board is satisfied that the welfare and interests of any student attending school so requires, may either:
- Suspend the teacher (normally on pay except in exceptional circumstances) or
- Transfer the teacher to other duties.
d) Where a breach of discipline is held to have occurred, the Board shall not impose a penalty on the teacher without first;
- Giving the teacher the opportunity to make representations to it; and
- Taking into account any period of suspension already imposed.
e) In the case of a finding of serious misconduct, the Board may dismiss the teacher without notice.
f) If any penalty is imposed, advise the teacher of her/his right to pursue a grievance in terms of the employment relationship problem resolution provision, sections 103 to 110, Part 9 of the Employment Relations Act 2000.
g) If a breach of discipline is held not to have been proved, and the teacher has been suspended, the teacher shall, unless the teacher has already resigned, be entitled to resume forthwith, teaching duties, and any salary withheld for the period of suspension shall be reimbursed.
v. All complaints about misconduct must be made in writing and directed to the Principal and Board of Trustees unless:
The complainant considers on reasonable grounds, that the Principal and Board will not be able to deal with the complaint effectively because of an actual or perceived conflict of interest;
The complaint has been made to the Principal and Board, but the complainant is not satisfied with the way in which the complaint is being or was dealt with;
In any other exceptional circumstance.
vi. The Board must immediately report to the New Zealand Teachers’ Council if it has reason to believe that a teacher employed by the Board has engaged in serious misconduct. “Serious Misconduct” means conduct by a teacher that:
- Adversely affects or is likely to adversely affect, the well being or learning of one or more students; or
- Reflects adversely on the teacher’s fitness to be a teacher and it meets the NZTC criteria for reporting serious misconduct.
The report to NZTC must;
- Be in writing
- Describe the misconduct
- Describe what action (if any) the Board has taken
vii. The Board must immediately report to the New Zealand Teachers’ Council in the following situations;
When a teacher has been dismissed for any reason;
When a teacher resigns and the school had in the previous 12 months:
- Investigated them in regards to conduct
- Warned them about dissatisfaction with their conduct
The report must be in writing and must contain
- The reason for any dismissal
- A description of the conduct issue involved
- A report on what action (if any) was taken by the School
viii. The Board must report immediately to the New Zealand Teacher’s Council if within 12 months after a teacher has left a complaint is received about the teacher’s conduct while they were employed. The report must:
- Be in writing
- Include a description of conduct issues;
- Describe what action (if any) the Principal and Board has taken.
The report may include any additional information the Principal and Board thinks relevant.
ix. Failure to report in any of the situations where the Board is required to, is a summary offence and carries a $5,000 fine.
x. The Board has a valid defence to any charge of non-reporting if the Board believed on reasonable grounds that it was following the exemptions to reporting a former employee;
They are satisfied that the complaint is malicious, vexatious, or without foundation;
They are satisfied the complaint about misconduct does not meet the NZTC criteria for reporting.
xi. Every teacher must inform the New Zealand Teacher’s Council within 7 days, if they have convicted an offence that may attract a prison sentence of 3 months or more. The actual sentence given is irrelevant.
Failure to report is misconduct and may lead to disciplinary proceedings.
The court will also report any such convictions to the NZTC if they believe a convicted party is a teacher.
This policy will be reviewed as part of the Board’s cycle of review/schedule