Student teachers as relief teachers

Student teachers as relief teachers

Guidance for schools and kura on how to employ final year Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students to do part-time relief work.

Support for staff shortages

To help deal with Omicron-related staff shortages, schools and kura can take on final year Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students to do part-time relief work.

They can contact known final year ITE students with the appropriate classroom experience to perform the role of a relief teacher. 


  • The student will need to obtain a Limited Authority to Teach (LAT) authorisation via the Teaching Council. The school/professional leader will need to provide a written reference to support the student’s LAT application.
  • The school must ensure that they can support the student to be able to prioritise teacher education study alongside any relief work. 

How to apply for LAT authorisation

Students will need:

  • A written reference attesting to their knowledge and skills. This could come from a lecturer, a mentor, or an associate teacher.
    • Students will be able to relieve under the ‘skills in short supply’ category.
    • This is because teachers are in short supply due to Omicron, their skills therefore are in short supply.
  • A full curriculum vitae (CV) that shows experience in an industry or field relevant to the application. Make sure to highlight teaching placements and focus on skills gained.
  • A completed proof of identity form - link).
  • An endorsement by the school and kura where they will do the part-time relief work.
  • An Education Sector Logon (ESL) username and password from the same school. The school’s Delegated Authoriser will need to send you an invite to create an ESL account. 

Applying online

Once you have an ESL username and password, use it to log into Hapori Matatū and complete the online application form. 

Log in to Hapori Matatū | Online Community –

Important things to know about LAT authorisation

  • LAT is not a type of practising certificate, and it is not for registered teachers, nor for permanent employment.
  • LAT teachers cannot be hired to permanent roles, unlike teachers with pre-certificated teacher registration.
  • LATs are granted to people with skills in short supply.
  • LAT authorisation needs annual registration, general teacher registrations last for three years at a time.
  • LAT is a temporary status. Students will still need to apply for a regular teacher registration upon graduating.

How schools can support students doing relief work

This relief work should not interfere with student study schedules.

  • Students will need to talk to schools about the specific dates they are available for relief work.
  • This cannot be counted towards practicum experience for students.
  • Schools and kura will need to factor in sufficient mentoring and support for any students employed to relief positions. This could look like:
    • Assigning a mentor or associate teacher to the ITE relief teacher
    • Ensuring another qualified adult is in the room for support (i.e., another teacher, support staff)
    • Ensuring the relief work is appropriate for the ITE student and their experience and strengths.

This support could be provided online from a teacher who is working from home.

Employment relations and pay

  • This is a standard relief teaching employment arrangement. This means students will be employed and paid as unqualified relievers.
  • Students would become an employee of the school or kura they choose to relieve at.
  • Teachers can relieve across sectors (e.g., primary, and secondary).
  • Those trained in Māori Medium education are encouraged to reach out to work at kura in their region.

Contact for assistance

For questions or guidance about accessing this support, email