As most of you will know, PPTA and NZEI (the two teachers’ unions) have approached Investing in Educational Success (IES) proposal differently.
This is an overview of the different views and an outline of where NZEI and PPTA are currently at.
The post aims to give bald details in the unions’ own words where possible, without commentary, so that you can think further about the issues yourself.
DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO INITIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
- NZEI stepped out of negotiations believing the policy to be flawed to the extent that it could not be made to work for primary schools
- PPTA stayed in negotiations believing the could renegotiate a policy that was more workable than the original.
- NZEI members have rejected IES by a 93% vote (of a 70% voter turnout)
- PPTA has renegotiated the terms of IES and have an interim agreement that PPTA members will vote on, probably in term 4.
NZEI’s VIEW (in NZEI’s words)
- Teachers want the money to go to much-needed frontline resources for students, not into another tier of management.
- The relationship and continuity of learning between primary students and their teachers is very important for effective learning. Taking an Expert Teacher out of their classroom for 40 per cent of the time, to be replaced by relievers, could have a negative effect on students’ learning.
- This policy proposes a radical shift in schooling through a top-down one-size-fits all model, without any consultation with schools or parents. It will impact on the role of boards of trustees, school/community relationships, teaching practice and the autonomy of individual schools, and could end up being a huge distraction from student learning.
WHAT NZEI WANTS INSTEAD OF IES (in NZEI’s words)
- Parents and teachers said they wanted to see smaller class sizes to support individualised learning and 100% qualified teachers in early childhood education to ensure all children get the best start.
- better funding for children with special needs so that all children can reach their potential. Currently, special needs funding is rationed and far too many children with moderate-to- significant needs do not get enough support.
- more sustainable funding for teacher aides and other support staff, so that children get quality support and teachers can focus on teaching and learning.
PPTA’s VIEW (in PPTA’s words unless indicated by * in which case I have paraphrased)
- The IES interim agreement is vastly different to the initial proposal from government *
- The roles outlines have changed *
- The role names have changed *
- The payments for those in the roles has been reduced *
- This [IES] money is to fund a government policy initiative. It is not available to fund anything else, even though we would all prefer it spent otherwise. Spending it on other things was never an option.
- The teacher may be released more flexibly than this implies. While the teacher is away the staffing allowance could be used to employ a specialist teacher to teach the class music, a language, etc.
- [S]chools will choose whether to be part of a CoS [Community of Schools] or not. It is not being imposed.
I hope that overview helps teachers, parents and others.
I welcome comments and clarification from NZEI and PPTA on the factual content above, as needed, and would be very happy to receive any additional information they have and would like to share.
At the end of the day, and despite different approaches and disagreement on the way forward, I believe we all have the best interests of the students at heart, and so it’s important that all parties are clear on what unions and their members want, where they differ, why that might be, and so on.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
IES_factchecker_27aug2014.pdf (found on PPTA site http://www.ppta.org.nz/events/consulting-on)