History of NZGSE


During 1995, three teacher educators together decided there was a need for a high quality alternative to the traditional teacher education programmes.  Lois Chick, Kevin Knight and John Langley formed a company to become this new enterprise - New Zealand Graduate School of Education.

The vision was that NZGSE would be an exemplar for other training providers: an organisation that would challenge by example the current practices in teacher education.  NZGSE was committed from the beginning to preparing teachers who would be academically well qualified, very skilled practitioners, and prepared to demonstrate the highest standards of professionalism in schools.


To achieve this goal NZGSE chose a training model that was the most effective known.  This was a combination of extensive school-based experience coupled with close supervision by teacher educators.  Other features were to be a flexible programme length and a strong emphasis on the skills of behaviour management.


NZGSE’s set-up phase extended from October 1995 to September 1996 during which time the many approval processes were completed.  By the end of the development phase NZGSE had acquired premises and equipment, was registered as a private training establishment, was accredited to work in the field of teacher education and had a Diploma of Teaching programme recognised by NZQA and the Teacher Registration Board [now called the NZ Teachers Council].  In 2005, the programme was renamed Graduate Diploma in Teaching on the recommendation of the Teachers Council.


A fourth director – Harry Lim – joined NZGSE in October 1996 to provide more business perspective.  John Langley and Harry Lim have now both exited the company.  Rod Browning – who was formerly NZGSE’s Secondary Programme Leader – was invited to be a Director in 2010 and recently retired from this role.


New Zealand Graduate School of Education’s first teacher training programme began on 1 October 1996 with a small intake of eight students training as primary teachers.  They were joined in January 1997 by a further group training to be primary teachers and a new group training to be secondary teachers.  Since then new primary and secondary groups have begun in January and July each year.  There are normally around 100 teacher interns – NZGSE’s term for its student teachers – on the programme training as primary teachers or as secondary teachers.  NZGSE is committed to keeping its teacher intern numbers low to ensure an individual focus on training needs.


The Official Opening of New Zealand Graduate School of Education was conducted by Hon Wyatt Creech– then Minister of Education – on 6 June 1997.

NZGSE held its Inaugural Graduation Ceremony in April 1998 when the Rt Hon David Lange presented 26 teachers with their diplomas.  Graduations have been held annually since.  There were 127 graduate diplomas in teaching presented at our 2011 ceremony.

In 2006, NZGSE celebrated its tenth anniversary with a conference at which Hon Steve Maharey – Minister of Education at the time – was the keynote speaker.  In 2016, the 20 year milestone was reached.


NZGSE’s teacher education model fosters strong professional links with participating host schools.  This cooperation has benefits for both NZGSE and the schools.  NZGSE teacher interns gain from being treated as full members of the schools’ professional teams and NZGSE can contribute to the professional development of the teachers in the schools.


In addition to the teacher training programmes, NZGSE provides extensive support to experienced teachers and school managers through professional development courses, mentoring schemes, teacher appraisals and school reviews.  This work is managed under the banner of School Improvement Services.


NZGSE graduates are highly sought after by schools.  Our data show that over 97% of ourgraduates go on to teach.  NZGSE graduates often win rapid promotion once they are in teaching jobs.