A UK study which has found that teacher aides in some cases did not improve learning, challenges the New Zealand Government to come up with its own research, as part of a general system-wide “fix” of special education in this country.
NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter says in New Zealand the Government has continued to short-change students with special needs.
“The ‘system fix’ needs to urgently address the fact that it is impossible to develop a professional teacher aide workforce because of the way teacher aides are funded through the paltry Operations Grant.”
The grant received a one percent increase in this year’s Budget.
“These are dedicated hardworking people, yet they have no job security and often receive no professional development or proper training. And despite working with children with extremely challenging educational needs, there is no formal qualification and no career pathway for teacher aides.
“Many receive little more than the minimum adult wage. This is an insult to special needs students, their parents and teacher aides.
“It is a system failure and it shows that the Government is not committed to improving learning for students with special needs.
“We need a professional teacher aide workforce and the Government system works against that.”