National’s Education Spokesperson Nikki Kaye says a bill supported by the Labour Government will undermine educators throughout the country by restricting the use of the term ‘teacher’.

“The Education (Protecting Teacher Title) Amendment Bill removes the ability of those who do not have certain recognised teaching qualifications from calling themselves ‘teachers’. Anyone who breaches this is liable to pay a $2000 fine,” Ms Kaye says.

“This bill jeopardises many of our current teachers and early childhood teachers whose current qualifications and experiences fall outside of the criteria.

“It has the potential to undermine and devalue our many educators who contribute to the wellbeing of our country. There are already provisions in the law to penalise people who may be misleading people about their qualifications. 

“The impact of the bill is not even isolated to the education sector. Are we going to fine every music teacher, dance teacher, and swimming teacher? 

“National believes there are far greater priorities for education. This bill has far reaching consequences for many people. 

“As per questions raised by National MPs in public hearings, we don’t even have basic information on the number of educators or education businesses affected by this change. But we know it will at least be thousands of people. 

“Even the Attorney-General has come out against the bill as it breaches the Bill of Rights, yet the Government continues to support it.

“This bill is a solution looking for one problem and creating another.”

Submissions for the Education (Protecting Teacher Title) Amendment Bill close today at midnight and can be made here.

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