Establishing an employment-based trainee teacher position

Employment-based initial teacher education attracts high calibre students into teaching and equips them with the skills and knowledge they need to meet the needs of diverse learners.  Students participating in employment-based teacher training (EBTT) have their study moulded around time spent in the classroom. It allows trainee teachers to earn while they learn, build confidence with more in-classroom experience and be supported by a strong mentoring programme.

Boards of Trustees of state or state-integrated schools and kura can apply to establish an employment-based trainee teacher (EBTT) position in their school. This was part of the change to the Education Act under section 91O. See the Ministry’s webpage Enabling school boards of trustees to employ trainee teachers for more information.

How do I apply to establish a trainee teacher position in my school?

Check out the eligibility criteria and how to apply to establish an EBTT.

How are EBTT positions funded?

EBTT positions must be funded from the Board’s own funds. This includes the trainee teacher’s salary, any relief time and associated costs required to provide non-contact time for the trainee teacher. The appointment will be for a fixed-term.

Trainee teachers are not “regular teachers” as defined in Section 91A (1) of the Education Act, and therefore their salaries cannot be paid out of Teachers’ Salaries. Trainee teachers must be paid in accordance with the untrained employee or teacher rate stated in the relevant Collective Agreement. The correct step will be assessed by the Salary Assessment Unit, and made according to the trainee teacher’s experience and qualifications. The Ministry covers the cost of 0.2FTTE for a mentor teacher to work with the trainee teacher. This will be paid through Teachers’ Salaries.

You must comply with the State Sector Act 1988 and the Collective Agreements

Recruitment, selection and appointment processes for EBTT positions need to comply with the State Sector Act 1988, insofar that any employment-based positions must be advertised, and appointments should be based on merit with the Board acting independently in deciding who to appoint. Boards must also comply with any appropriate clauses in relevant Collective Agreement(s).

How long does an EBBT position last?

Boards need to understand the length of commitment being made to the trainee teacher and their employment-based ITE programme. Once established and an appointment made, the EBBT position is operational for as long as the trainee teacher is on the programme. This could be 2 or 3 years. The position will lapse once the trainee teacher completes the programme. Any changes to the trainee teacher, their circumstances or the position must be notified to the Ministry.

Can I appoint a trainee teacher before they are accepted by employment-based ITE programme?

We strongly recommend that Boards ensure the trainee teacher has been accepted to start an approved employment-based ITE programme before appointing them. This avoids appointing a trainee teacher who has been unable to secure a place on an approved programme.

Can I hire a trainee teacher to fill a teaching vacancy?

No. While it is possible to use someone in an employment-based trainee teacher position to temporarily cover some or all of the teaching responsibilities of a vacancy, this should only be a short-term solution, and the Board should explore other avenues, including the using relievers. If using a trainee teacher to provide cover, the Board must show that it can provide adequate mentoring for the trainee teacher in their specialist subject, and the vacancy must be advertised at least once a year.

What does a trainee teacher’s position look like in the classroom?

Each trainee teacher position will be different for each trainee teacher and should be agreed by the trainee teacher, their mentor and the school.

New Zealand Teachers Council New Zealand Education Gazette New Zealand Qualifications Authority Immigration New Zealand