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Minister of Education to fund Teaching Education Refresher (TER)

13 December 2017

The Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education, has announced an immediate $9.5 million teacher supply package today, including covering the cost of the Teacher Education Refresh from 2018.

He’s also talked about the work we’ve been involved with in making it easier and cheaper for certain overseas teachers to work in New Zealand.

You can find the Minister’s full announcement here. The Minister has also shared a detailed Cabinet Paper (that includes our input) as background to the things he’s announced.

We’ve put together a few facts and figures to support this.


New Zealand’s teaching profession is well-regarded internationally and the Government recognises the importance of TER in helping to maintain these high standards of teaching expertise.

  • The Government will cover the cost of the Teacher Education Refresher course (TER) for all relevant teachers for the first six months of 2018
  • This is for teachers returning to teaching or whose registration has otherwise lapsed, including those returning from maternity or parental leave
  • Only teachers who have been provisionally certificated for six or more years since registering, or teachers registering with the Council who completed their initial teacher education qualification more than six years ago, are likely to be required to undertake TER
  • If a teacher holds Subject to Confirmation certification, they do not have to complete the Teacher Education Refresh (TER) Programme
  • The funding is available for TER courses starting in the first six months of 2018
  • If you have recently enrolled on a TER course but haven’t started the programme, please contact your TER provider to ask them about how the Minister’s announcement affects your costs
  • The courses take between three weeks and six months to complete. They are designed to be flexible so that each teacher completes only the modules they need, and can work while they do so
  • Around 850 teachers have completed TER since 2015. As a percentage of teachers with practising certificates (101,000) that’s 0.69%
  • The Education Council is responsible for administering the organisations who deliver the TER programmes and monitoring their standards. We do not deliver TER ourselves and we do not receive any revenue from it


The Ministry of Education, the Education Council, NZQA and Immigration New Zealand have developed a set of pre-approved teaching qualifications to help fast-track applications from overseas teachers to work in New Zealand.

These changes mean that overseas teachers with relevant qualifications from England and Wales, Ireland, Canada and Fiji can complete the NZQA process at no cost, with both qualification and teacher registration processes competed within 10 days

Clearly, any overseas teachers must meet all of our Police checks and other critical immigration standards, as well as having the right qualifications and experience to join the teaching profession in Aotearoa New Zealand.