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Nominations for the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand elections are about to close, but election organisers are concerned less than a handful of nominations have been received from around the country so far.
Nominations close on January 25 and voting will take place between March 4 and March 26.
In September 2018, legislation was passed, changing the name of the education sector’s professional body to the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand, and allowing for seven members of the council’s new board to be elected by different sectors within the profession.
The election is a chance for teachers to have a say in who represents them on their professional body.
Voters working in seven sectors have been asked to elect board members — one teacher and one principal from the primary and secondary sectors, one teacher and one leader from the early childhood education sector, and one teacher educator.
A further six board members will be appointed by the Education Minister.
Teachers received an email late last year, explaining the election process, and how to nominate someone.
However, an Election Services Ltd spokeswoman said only "three or four" nominations had been received to date.
"There definitely haven’t been a lot of nominations at all yet. They’ve been slow coming in.
"There are seven positions, so it would be really good to have a few nominations for each so that there’s a choice."
She believed nominations were slow to come in because the call for nominations was made two weeks before the end of term 4 last year, when schools were at their busiest.
"It’s a difficult time for teachers. We tried to get in a few weeks before they finished for the year so that they had a bit of time to make nominations.
"But all their time is precious and they were very busy at the time."
She said it was not too late to nominate people for the positions, and encouraged educators to make the most of the opportunity.
The voter turnout in the last election held by the former Teachers’ Council was only 13.6%, and the Teaching Council was keen to see more engagement this time.
The new council board will take office in July.