After the teachers' college course has been completed, trainees not selected for third-year studentships serve a further year as probationary assistants. As such they are members of school staffs, and their positions are defined on the schedules that govern the staffing of schools and the provision of classrooms. Most of them have classes of 25 to 30. Responsibility for the continuance of their professional training passes to the district senior inspectors and the head teachers of the schools. Towards the end of the probationary year, the teaching efficiency of each probationary assistant is judged by an inspector of schools with a view to the issue, by the Director, of a Trained Teachers' Certificate (or a Diploma in Teaching if the trainee has obtained at least six units of which at least three must be university degree units). The probationary assistant is also brought into the primary teachers' appointments scheme by being given a personal report and general assessment. This enables him to apply for, and be appointed to, his first permanent position as a certificated teacher.
In 1963 the Government approved in principle that the present two-year course for primary teachers should be increased to three years for all trainees; a national Officer for Teaching Training was appointed by the Department of Education to be responsible for the supervision and development of primary and post-primary teacher training; and a National Advisory Council on Teacher Training was set up to advise the Minister and the Director on major policies, including the most suitable method of introducing three-year primary training and the size and location of teachers' colleges.
In March 1965 the Government approved the introduction of three-year training for primary teachers on the basis of two colleges a year, starting with Hamilton and Dunedin in 1966. A Teachers' College Buildings Committee was set up to prepare a five-year building programme that would provide the necessary places for the greatly increased enrolments of the next five years.
by Bryan Morgan Pinder, M.A., DIP.ED., Officer for Teacher Training, Department of Education, Wellington.