Teach­ers face reg­is­tra­tion fee hike


Teach­ers could pay more than dou­ble the reg­is­tra­tion fee after com­plet­ing post­grad­u­ate study if Ed­u­ca­tion Coun­cil pro­pos­als are adopted.

The pro­fes­sional or­gan­i­sa­tion for teach­ers opened con­sul­ta­tion on plans to in­crease the fee from $73 to $170 a year last week.

The first in­crease since 2010 will aid pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment projects and keep the coun­cil afloat when $21 mil­lion of gov­ern- ment fund­ing runs out in 2019.

Ed­u­ca­tion unions say the coun­cil, which has no elected mem­ber­ship, ’’does not rep­re­sent teach­ers’’ and oppose fund­ing any­thing more than its core func­tions: pro­fes­sional ethics and dis­ci­pline.

It co­in­cided with another pro­posal to re­quire fu­ture teach­ers to gain a post­grad­u­ate qual­i­fi­ca­tion to ‘‘raise the sta­tus of the pro­fes­sion’’, Ed­u­ca­tion Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Gra­ham Stoop told par­lia­ment ear­lier this month.

A state­ment from the coun­cil said the required skills for teach­ing were ‘‘more con­sis­tent’’ with post­grad­u­ate-level study.

‘‘The Ed­u­ca­tion Coun­cil wants to fur­ther ex­plore the im­pli­ca­tions of such a goal for dif­fer­ent parts of the sec­tor.’’

Post Pri­mary Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Jack Boyle said the ‘‘huge’’ fee hike made it likely the Gov­ern­ment would re­tract fund­ing for them.

The post­grad­u­ate plan could ex­ac­er­bate a na­tion­wide teacher short­age, he said. Gov­ern­ment fig­ures sug­gest up to 1400 more se­condary school teach­ers alone would be needed each of the next eight years as the teach­ing pop­u­la­tion ages.

‘‘Teach­ing is just not de­sir­able com­pared with the other op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able for peo­ple with good de­grees. The pay is nowhere near enough to com­pen­sate for the huge work­loads and the daily stresses of man­ag­ing to­day’s teenagers,’’ Boyle said.

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of early child- hood ed­u­ca­tion body ChildFo­rum Sarah Alexan­der said the fee in­crease would hit early child­hood teach­ers hard­est.

‘‘Early child­hood teach­ers do not earn mas­sive amounts of money. They are highly vul­ner­a­ble in terms of pay and con­di­tions of work com­pared with teach­ers in schools.

‘‘We knew that this was com­ing but it is the size of the in­creases that teach­ers and the early child­hood sec­tor can­not ac­cept.’’


PPTA’s Jack

Boyle says the fee hike will likey af­fect its fund­ing.

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