How many Learning Support Co-ordinators (LSCs) will there be?
The plan is to have around 600 in place by the start of the 2020 school year, with more to come. The goal is to eventually have one in each urban school and for each rural school to have access to one.
What exactly will LSCs do?
LSCs will be a specialised point of contact for parents and caregivers. They will liaise with staff, students, whanau and outside agencies to support a child’s educational needs.
LSCs will not teach children – instead, they will support classroom teachers and Teacher Aides, and provide expert advice to them.
How will the LSC role be defined, and how is it different to a SENCO?
SENCO roles are almost always tacked onto a teacher’s or senior staff member’s other roles, meaning they have only a few hours per week dedicated to SENCO work. The LSC role will be a dedicated one, focused solely on learning support.
Tracey Martin (NZ First) said in the Coalition Government’s press release: “Feedback from public consultation, which has just closed, will inform what the final job description looks like and the appropriate ratios for both urban and rural schools. This will also inform the final number of coordinators.”
Will LSCs only help students that are struggling?
No. An LSC’s role will be to support any student with specific special educational needs, including learning and physical disabilities, neurodiversity, behavioural issues and also giftedness.
How will so many LSCs be found, given the current teacher shortage?
There is no specific information about how the LSCs will be found and placed yet.
However, Tracey Martin said government is “deliberately taking a two-phased approach to rolling out coordinators across all schools.” She noted that this government “inherited a significant teacher shortage and implementation of the new role in full from the beginning of 2020 would place huge pressure on the education workforce supply.”
Martin said that once the first cohort of LSCs is in place and “a clearer picture of medium and long term workforce needs emerges,” planning for the second phase of LSCs will take place.
How is LSC funding different to the current SENCO funding?
SENCOs are paid for by Boards of Trustees – SENCOs are not centrally funded like teachers are. In contrast, LSCs will be centrally funded.
What will the new LSCs cost government?
LSC implementation will cost $217 million over four years, and the money will be allocated in the 2019 Budget.
This funding is on top of the $272.8 million allocated for learning support in this year’s Budget.
SOSNZ will share new information as it arises. But so far, this looks very positive move indeed, and we would like to thank Tracey Martin (NZ First) and Catherine Delahunty (Green party) for their long-term dedication to making this happen.
Government announcement – New workforce a game-changer for kids with learning needs – Beehive Panui
PM Jacinda Ardern announces 600 school staff to support children with special learning needs, NZ Herald 4/11/18
It’s election time again, but before choosing which Party to vote for, make sure you know what their education policies are – and pay attention to what isn’t mentioned, too.
This time we are looking at National Standards.
New Zealand Political Parties’ Policies on National Standards
“Labour will abolish national standards to return the focus to a broad and varied curriculum with the key competencies at the heart. Labour will ensure that the education system embraces and fosters essential skills and competencies such as attitude, communication, commitment, teamwork, willingness to learn, motivation, self-management, resilience and problem-solving.”
“Labour will abolish national standards and work with experts and stakeholders to develop a new system that better acknowledges child progress and focuses on the key competencies”
“Labour will scrap the current approach of measuring the success of schools by the number of students achieving national standards or NCEA, and will work with teachers, principals, parents, tertiary institutions and the Education Review Office (ERO) to develop more effective ways of evaluating the performance of schools”
“Labour will re-direct resources spent forcing “National Standards” on schools into teacher professional development programmes that assist students who are struggling”
“The Green Party will: Oppose the system of National Standards that was introduced in 2010, and remove the requirement for schools to report against them”
“The Green Party will: Work with teacher organisations to develop an assessment model or models that allow tracking of student progress against national data; to be used to inform further teaching and learning in partnership with students and their
“The Green Party will: Oppose the publication of league tables which rank schools on academic achievement.”
“New Zealand First would abolish National Standards and re-establish professional learning and development support for the quality delivery of our New Zealand Curriculum with monitoring as to children’s progress based on curriculum levels.”
“New Zealand First believes that all students need to be literate and numerate but does not believe that the black and white National Standards imposed on our primary school children are fit for purpose. Our national curriculum documents, the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, have identified curriculum achievement levels that are progressive and overlapping – children are not expected to achieve at the same level at the same time.”
“New Zealand First will: Abolish National Standards in their current form and work with the sector to establish robust assessment measures for individual students and to identify nationwide goals for primary education.”
Mana will: “Replace National Standards with processes that help parents assess their child’s progress”
TOP will: “Reduce assessment, giving more time for teaching and learning.”
“TOP will delay National Standards until Year 6”
“National is [also] ensuring a better education through: Providing parents with better information through National Standards so they know how well their child is doing at school.”
The ACT Party’s education policy does not mention National Standards.
The Maori Party
The Maori Party’s education policy does not mention National Standards.
United Future has no education policy on its web page.
If you spot any errors or missing information relating to this post, please comment below and I will edit as quickly as possible.
Dianne Khan – SOSNZ
New Zealand Charter (or Partnership) Schools are private businesses that are fully funded by your taxes. They are funded at a higher rate than comparable state schools.
Charter Schools can employ untrained staff to work in classrooms as teachers.
Charter Schools are free to pay staff, advisors, etc whatever they choose. Charter schools need not declare pay levels or any other aspect of what their funding is spent on.
It is not possible to get use the Official Information Act to access information from a Charter School, as they are private businesses.
Charter Schools need not have parent representation on the Board.
With that basic overview done, here are the charter school policies of the main New Zealand political parties.
Party Policy on Charter Schools
Despite charter schools being driven by ACT, their education policy web page has no mention of charter (or partnership) schools at all.
Despite bringing in the legislation for charter schools, the National’s education policy web page has no mention of them at all.
“We believe in a quality, comprehensive, public education system, not the corporatised, privatised system that the current government is driving us towards. Taxpayer funding for education should be directed towards learning and teaching, not creating profit-making opportunities for private businesses.”
“Labour will protect and promote our quality public education system by: Repealing the legislation allowing for Charter Schools” (Source)
“The Green Party will: Oppose charter schools, repeal the enabling legislation around charter schools, and maintain the current flexibility to support/create some state schools designated special character.” (Source)
“New Zealand First is strongly opposed to “charter” or “partnership” schools; public funding for these privately owned profit making opportunities would be ended by New Zealand First.”
“New Zealand First will: Repeal the 2013 amendments to the Education Act 1989 that allowed the creation of Charter Schools.” (Source)
Mana will: “Cancel public private partnership contracts for schools and abolish the charter schools policy” (Source)
“Question: You seem to be staunchly against specialist schools like charter schools and even private schools. Shouldn’t parents have the right to do best by their child, and be less concerned about the plight of other less fortunate children?
Answer: You’d have a point if there was any evidence that these specialist schools are producing better overall results for their students. There is no such evidence. There is however strong evidence that ghetto-ising the residual schools is doing real damage to the students there, entrenching disadvantage and raising the costs to society of the rising inequality that results. There is a case for specialist schools or at least classes for children with special needs, or for children of various ethnic communities. But the trend under Tomorrow’s Schools of “affluent flight” shows no benefit and plenty of costs.
As for charter schools, they could easily be accommodated within the state system – there is no need for them to sit outside.” (Source)
The Maori Party
The Maori Party’s education policy does not mention charter schools. (Source)
No school-level education policy at all can be found on the web page of United Future (Source)
If you note any errors or missing information relating to this post, please comment below and I will edit as quickly as possible.
Dianne Khan – SOSNZ
Edited 10/9/2017 3.34 to update TOP’s policy and add link.
In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s election year, and that means it’s time to look at the various political parties’ education policies.
So, because we are helpful souls here at SOSNZ, here’s a handy alphabetical list of NZ political parties with links to their education policies online (or, where no education policy is yet published, a link to their general policy page):
ACT Party Education Policy
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Education Policy – none on party web page. Other policies are here.
Conservative Party Education Policy – none on party web page. Other policies here.
Green Party Education Policy
Internet Party Education Policy
Labour Party Education Policy
Mana Party Education Policy
Maori Party Education Policy – not on party web page. Other policies are here.
National Party Education Policy
New Zealand First Education Policy
The Opportunities Party (TOP) Education Policy
United Future Education Policy – none on party web page. Other policies are here.
The only useful conclusion in the Government-sanctioned evaluation of charter schools is the confirmation that smaller classes work better, the Green Party says.
The evaluation, carried out by consultancy firm Martin Jenkins and released publicly yesterday, was a narrow study of three of the first five charter schools, which are part of the National Government’s charter schools experiment.
“The report was meant to focus on innovation but the only educational ‘innovation’ clearly identified is that smaller class sizes work better,” says Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
“Given that we knew this already, it’s even more apparent that National’s charter schools experiment is a giant waste of money – money which would have been better spent reducing class sizes for all children in state schools.
“The report also identifies ‘risk taking’ as a strength of charter schools, even though we know the risks taken in allowing the Whangaruru charter school were disastrous for the children enrolled there.
“The worst thing about this evaluation is its failure to carry out any real comparison between state schools which innovate and charter schools, which supposedly help priority learners via innovation.
“All we know from this report is that the charter schools like the extra money from the Government, as well as their reduced accountability to the Government, and that small classes help students.
“There is also no mention of any innovation to assist students with special needs, who the Government says are a target for the charter schools model.
“There is already considerable innovation in many state schools and the Green Party’s School Hubs policy would build on that, as well as reduce inequality.
“Introducing School Hubs would mean every decile one to decile four school would have a nurse, food in schools and real community involvement – all of which will lead to a more inclusive education experience for our children,” said Ms Delahunty.
The Green Party has initiated a Parliamentary Inquiry into dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum disorders in schools in New Zealand.
Following a request from the Green Party, the Education and Science Select Committee has today agreed to investigate the identification of and support for students facing the significant challenges of dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum disorders.
“We want to change the system so every child has a fair go.”
Green Party Education spokesperson, Catherine Delahunty
“So many students are missing out on education because their learning differences are not identified early enough and help is not made available. We want to change the system so every child has a fair go,” Green Party Education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.
Significant numbers of New Zealanders live with these conditions.
- 13,000 children between 2-14 have been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum disorder (including Asperger’s syndrome),
- autism is estimated to affect 40,000 people,
- dyslexia is estimated to affect 70,000 people, and
- dyspraxia is estimated to affect 70,000 schoolchildren.
“Of course, these figures are speculative because the identifying of these learning issues has been so contentious,” Ms Delahunty said.
“There needs to be strong processes and support in place to enable these learners to make the most of their educational opportunities.
“Investigations at an early level of education are important before students may become discouraged from education at higher levels.
“Decile 10 schools are seven times more likely
to get Special Assessment Conditions assistance
than students in Decile 1 schools”
“Of particular concern, has been the inequality in access to support for these conditions. Decile 10 schools are seven times more likely to get Special Assessment Conditions assistance than students in Decile 1 schools.
“It can cost well over $700 to get these special assessments done. Parents and schools need assistance to ensure that these conditions are picked up and students get the assistance that they need,” Ms Delahunty said.
The Terms of Reference include:
- Investigate current screening in schools
- Identify best educational practice
- Investigate why Special Assessment Conditions differ so greatly among schools
“While this is great news for special needs learners, I am disappointed that the Select Committee has not taken up my Te Reo in schools inquiry as well.
“I urge a wide range of parents, schools, and teachers to participate and engage in the Select Committee process that is going ahead.
“It is very encouraging to have the support of the other parties on the Select Committee to address this problem. I hope it will result in students being able to get the right help that they need,” Ms Delahunty said.
A huge underspend in special education shows that Government Budget promises can’t be trusted and Ministers have no idea about the real needs of children, the Green Party says.
More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve.
“It’s hard to know whether this is deliberate penny pinching or a complete lack of understanding about the extent of the need in schools; either way children with special needs are missing out,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.
“This is what happens when the Government is not focussed on the needs of kids, but on other things, like keeping its disastrous Charter School experiment alive.
The Green Party commissioned analysis after last year’s budget showing that spending on education and health was falling in real terms under the National Government. Yesterday we saw the Prime Minister pretending he was spending more on education this year when all he was doing was re-package funding that had already been announced for new schools needed to keep up with population growth.
“The Government likes to be seen to be doing things in education because it knows that is what New Zealanders want, but the experience of special needs kids and their schools is that the promises are increasingly empty.
“The special needs sector has been crying out for more resources for years, and its shocking that the Government is not even spending what they said they would on the most needy learners in New Zealand,” Ms Delahunty said.
The Education Minister’s confirmation today that there will be no new charter schools is a victory for the children and for public education, the Green Party said today.
In answer to Parliamentary questions from Green Education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty today, the Minister confirmed she was not planning a third Partnership School application round this year.
“This is an admission of failure,” Ms Delahunty said.
“Charter Schools were supposed to be the Government’s big solution to education, yet from the moment they opened they’ve been besieged with problems.
“They were supposed to target the Government’s priority learners, but in Parliament today Hekia Parata confirmed that there were no high needs children – a priority group – enrolled in any of the schools.
“Hekia Parata has done the right thing by putting an end to this expensive experiment and now her focus must go on ensuring children in the established schools get an education that’s up to scratch.
“There is no proof that charter schools are working for children at all. A second round of schools was approved to open this year, before assessments of the five that opened last year had been made public.
“Today Minister Parata confirmed she had not published the reports because she hadn’t made her “own assessment” of them.
“Many of the people involved in charter schools on the ground have the best intentions for pupils, but a model that undermines public education was never the answer,” Ms Delahunty said.
Last week Metiria Turei of the Green Party took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, the Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools.
Metiria explains, “Hungry kids can’t learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle when they grow up. Let’s break that cycle, lunchbox by lunch box. We can feed the country’s hungry kids, if we work together.
“My Bill is at a crucial stage of its progress – part way through its First Reading – and may be voted on as early as next Wednesday 5 November.
“The way the numbers stack up in the new Parliament the Bill will be voted down unless we can persuade the National Party to change its position and support it going to Select Committee. National have been talking a lot about child poverty since the election, and supporting my Bill is one way they can start to address it.
“You can help me persuade the Prime Minister to let the public have a say on this important issue by emailing John Key, asking that National support my Bill at least to Select Committee.
“We need to broaden and build the public debate on addressing child poverty, and submissions on this Bill to a Select Committee will help achieve this.
“Because of the potentially short time frame, you’ll need to send your emails as soon as possible and before Monday 3 November at the latest.”
Email John Key at firstname.lastname@example.org
Make a cuppa, grab a couple of bikkies, and take the time to watch this video before you choose where to put your vote on September 20th.
“The Wellington region of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA) invited the main political parties’ education spokespeople to deliver their views to a live audience.
Here is the video clip of the well attended event.”
Many of us who have read it are very concerned about the Education Ministry’s Statement of Intent.
The foreword is an exercise in deduction as, like all of the Minister’s communications, it’s hard to get past the waffle and jargon in order to see what is actually meant.
But this is vitally important that educators and parents DO read and understand it, because this document outlines what the Minister is intending to do next to our education system.
When I first read the Statement, I was torn between horror at what is implied in it and amusement at the circumlocution and waffle. In fact, I immediately wrote my own parody of the Statement, using about 50% of Hekia’s own words and adding my own spin.
It amused me, briefly.
But that amusement didn’t last long.
In actual fact, the Statement of Intent is very concerning.
Catherine Delahunty picks it apart today in this article, and asks some very salient questions about the Ministry’s intent, in particular regarding Early Childhood Education (ECE).
For those of you that don’t know, the Ministry’s Early learning Information System (ELI) is “an electronic monitoring system that requires ECE centres to record children’s enrolment and attendance.”
Delahunty points out that the Education Ministry says it will use its Early Learning Information System:
“to help identify particular trends and the effectiveness of children’s learning…”
Delahunty then asks,
“What on earth do they want 3 and 4 year olds to ‘learn’ and more particularly, what are they planning to measure about the effectiveness of that learning?
There has for a while now been real worries in the ECE sector that National may want preschool kids learning their ’3 R’s’ too. This appears to be a strong signal that we could have National Standards for pre-schoolers.”
I agree, it does appear to signal the Ministry is moving towards measuring the academic achievements of preschoolers.
This is worrying.
There are HUGE concerns from the ECE sector and from parents regarding the push towards standardising learning (and, heaven forbid, testing) for preschoolers.
It’s bad enough that the focus on data and on national and arbitrary standards is being entrenched in primary schools, but to it is even worse to be forcing formal learning on 2,3, or 4 year olds. The move is not supported by the research and in totally unnecessary in terms of good learning.
Ask yourself, why the focus on data and on national and arbitrary standards – what does it achieve?
Has it raised student achievement elsewhere?
The answer is no. But it has created a very lucrative market in testing materials and it has allowed for performance pay for teachers, neither of which benefit the students. Quite the opposite, in fact.
“We know that quality parent-led and teacher-led ECE based on a holistic curriculum is the best for small children”
Similar sentiments were echoed by Chris Hipkins (Labour) and Tracey Martin (NZ First) at the Tick For Kids ECE forum in Wellington last week.
The focus on reading and writing, and the obsession with pass marks, is narrowing our education system and crippling both teachers and students.
It is not a positive move.
It will not improve educational outcomes.
It is not supported as good practice by research.
So just what is the motive for doing it?
Sources and further reading:
GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed – The Daily Blog
The Ministry of Education’s Statement of Intent 2013 – 2018 (which sets out the key elements of how the Ministry will contribute to the delivery of Government’s priorities for education.)
Beanbags: An Alternative Statement of Intent Possibly from the Minister of Education (or perhaps not)
Hipkins and Martin well received, Parata not so much – what happened at the Tick For Kids Education Forum 12.8.14
Report shows National plan to slash billions from Education Budget
Findings in an independent analysis of the Government’s books, commissioned by the Green Party, reveal National is planning multi-billion dollar cuts to health, education, and environment spending over the next three years.
The analysis, prepared by Ganesh Nana of independent economic consultancy BERL, shows that National is stripping funding, in real terms, to the health, education and environment sectors to the tune of at least $3.837 billion over
the next three years.
“National’s election promises are being underwritten by major cuts to health, education and environment spending,” said Green Party Co-leader DrRussel Norman.
“National is being tricky with the books. This is a deliberate deception so National can claim a budget surplus when the reality is that hospitals will be under even greater pressure to cut services while every child in education will be worse off.
“At the time of the Budget in May, National brushed off criticism of these cuts saying they weren’t true. That was spin. National’s cuts to health, education and environment spending are real and damaging.
“National is attacking the elderly, the young and our environment with these funding cuts.
“BERL’s analysis shows National will cut health spending by 4.5 percent in real terms over the next three years. The cuts are actually 9.8 percent when you apply real health sector price increases.
“Education cuts amount to 1.7 percent over the next three years in total but are far more significant on a per pupil basis.
“In early childhood education (ECE) the cuts per child are 4.6 percent, 3 percent for primary children and 1.1 percent for secondary students.
“Environmental protection is cut by a massive 13.9 percent, leaving our environment vulnerable to further degradation,” said Dr Norman.
“In Government, the Green Party will maintain real levels of funding in health, education and the environment to protect against inflation and ensure vital services are not gutted.
“We will allocate $3.837 billion to health, education and the environment to protect these essential services for New Zealanders.
“The Green Party will reverse National’s cuts to our important services. Funding for our hospitals and schools and environmental protection will be maintained and inflation adjusted under the Greens.
“The Greens will use National’s provision for new spending to invest back into health, education and the environment to maintain real funding levels.
“Our plan to protect core Government spending is more than covered by existing budget provisions for new spending going forward and is affordable within budget parameters.
“Voters need to be crystal clear that a vote for National is a vote for spending cuts on health, education and our environment.
“Voters have a choice this election, re-elect National for big cuts to health and education, or protect the funding of our essential public services by voting Green.”
There was an air of excitement, tension and hope at last night’s Tick For Kids education forum in Wellington. The room was packed, and people were very keen to hear what the parties’ representatives have to say about education policy.
Kiwis are no fools, though, with people well aware of what Chris McKenzie called the pre-election lolly scramble to present popular policy, only 10% of which we might see post-election.
Given what we have heard so far and what was presented at this forum, we can only hope that far more than 10% of the promises come to fruition should there be a change in government.
So, to the night.
The panel comprised Hekia Parata (National), Chris Hipkins (Labour), Tracey Martin (NZ First), Peter Dunne (United Future), Chris McKenzie (Maori Party), Suzanne Ruthven (Greens), and Miriam Pierard (Internet-Mana) and was MCed very well by Dave Armstrong.
The candidates’ names were drawn from a bowl to determine the order in which they spoke – all very fair and orderly – and Armstrong made clear that people were welcome to mention each other, refer to other parties’ policies, and so on – unlike the shambles at Helensville the previous night. That got a big giggle.
(Clearly the Helensville event wasn’t run by Tick For Kids, otherwise it would have been far more interesting and informative.)
First up was Chris McKenzie (Maori Party)
McKenzie outlined a credible background in education and then won a significant ripple of applause when he said the Maori Party will reinstate ACE (Adult and Community Education) funding.
McKenzie also said they would make Te Reo compulsory and would look into the teaching of civics so that students understand the democratic process.
Given I had spent 90 minutes the night before trying to explain that very thing to my babysitter, I could well understand the need for civics in the curriculum. Maybe my high school colleagues can fill me in on what they feel is needed?
Peter Dunne (United Future) was up next
Dunne spoke mostly in generalities, with lots of feel good stuff about great teaching and high expectations, saying he wouldn’t be more specific as United Future’s policy is not out until next week!
He did, however, go out on a high note by stating UF would work to repeal charter schools.
Cue more audience applause.
Hekia Parata (National; Education Minister) was the next to take centre stage
Parata started by saying that student achievement had risen during National’s time in government and that now students are staying in school longer, saying that there was still more to do, especially for the neediest groups.
There was a wee round of clapping from one corner of the room. I later spotted that group leaving with Ms Parata – whether anyone *not* in her entourage clapped, I cannot say for sure…
Parata then said that special education needs was a key area of focus, and this elicited mumbling from the audience, most of whom are no doubt well aware that SEN provision is diabolical and has only got worse under this government. For my own part, it was all I could do to stay quiet and not shout “Tell that to Salisbury School!”
Parata continued on to say that Investing in Education Success (IES) policy would see to it that those issues are all addressed. This did not go down well with the audience. There was muttering.
Parata ended with a flourish by pronouncing “decile is not destiny” and banging the lectern. It might have gone down well were it not for the fact that teachers KNOW THAT already and don’t take kindly to being patronised. If she was waiting for a round of applause for her showmanship, she was disappointed.
And if showmanship is what was called for, we were in luck, because the next person to speak was Tracey Martin (New Zealand First), who always gives a clear and excellent speech.
Tracey Martin (New Zealand First)
Martin pulled no punches, opening by saying that teachers and the education system have been under constant attack by this government and it’s been relentless. She listed what we have seen from National: increased class sizes, charter schools, national standards and more.
Martin said parents were tricked into supporting (or at least not fighting) National Standards by the promise that they would be helpful, but said that’s not turned out to be the case.
Martin said that *if* Hekia Parata actually meant the things she said and did what she said, things would be far better, but she says one thing when she is means another.
In other words, the sales pitch doesn’t match what’s delivered.
The audience seemed to agree, with a large clap and mutterings of “too right”.
There was no pause as Martin went straight into EDUCANZ and the assault on teachers’ democracy. More clapping.
Martin then made absolutely clear that NZF would repeal both National Standards and charter schools. Applause from the room.
She went on to say that the conversation about how to improve education needs to be given back to teachers, that the sector itself needs to be involved and listened to.
She said change should be driven by teachers and facilitated by politicians, not the other way around.
Barely pausing for breath, Martin said Boards of Trustees (BOTs) would get compulsory training under NZF plans, ORS funding would increase to 3%, and there would be more money for special needs across the board.
This was all very well received by the audience, and Martin ended by saying (in a wee dig at Dunne) that New Zealand First’s education policy is already online, in full, and had been there for three months. She urged us all to read it. You should.
Suzanne Ruthven (Green Party)
Tracey Martin was a hard act to follow, but Suzanne Ruthven from the Green Party (who was standing in for Catherine Delahunty due to a family emergency) spoke to the effect of poverty on a student’s chances of success, said that education needed to be seen in its wider context, and outlined briefly the Green Party’s School Hubs Policy.
Ruthven explained that School Hubs would be flexible, there was money there for a Hub coordinator so that teachers were not expected to run them on top of their workload, and that schools and communities to mould them in whatever ways best suited their own needs.
And now to Chris Hipkins (Labour)
Chris started by saying he got a top rate education in a state school, and thanked his maths teacher who he had spotted at the back of the room.
He won the crowd over further by quoting Beeby:
“…every person, whatever his level of academic ability, whether he be rich or poor, whether he live in town or country, has a right, as a citizen, to a free education of the kind for which he is best fitted, and to the fullest extent of his powers.” C E Beeby
Without a pause for breath, Hipkins said charter schools would be repealed under Labour. National Standards would be gone. IES would be gone. School donations would be addressed.
He then said the Advisory Service would be put back in place, and the audience erupted into applause and cheers.
He went on – ECE would be funded to 100% qualified staff – more clapping
– and EDUCANZ would be ditched – HUGE applause and cheers, again, from the audience.
Hipkins sat down with the clapping still going.
Miriam Pierard was next up
Pierard explainsed that until very recently she was a teacher, and she believes once a teacher always a teacher.
It is, she says, time to take the education system back.
Pierard was clear that poverty and education need to be addressed together and that any government must work alongside teachers to find solutions. She stressed that the Internet Party want to hear from teachers about what they believe needs to be done.
Pierard reminds the crowd that ACT Party describe teachers as “vile” and says not all politicians feel that way.
Pierard ends by asking how many teachers in the room have been stuffed over by Novopay? Over half the hands went up. There’s applause for the recognition of the scale of the problem. She nods, sagely.
We all nod.
And with that, the candidates’ speeches are over, and we are onto Question Time… which deserves a post all of its own….
Other articles about the event:
Key political figures will debate the rights and interests of children at a forum to be held at Ponsonby Primary in Auckland next week.
The event promises to be a lively one with Education Minister Hekia Parata facing off against a full complement of party spokespeople and candidates.
Those taking part alongside Hekia Parata include:
- Jacinda Ardern (Labour)
- Denise Roche (Greens)
- Miriam Pierard (Internet Mana)
- Tracey Martin (New Zealand First Deputy)
- John Thompson (ACT President)
The event is being run under the banner of ‘Tick for Kids’; a collective that seeks to put the interests of children at the centre.
Spokesperson Anton Blank says, “We want New Zealanders to engage with politicians about issues for our children. These local events provide platforms for everyone to articulate these concerns to political candidates directly.”
With so many important politicians involved the debate is bound to be vigorous and wide-ranging, covering education, health, housing and child poverty.
“We know that the New Zealand public is concerned about increasing rates of child poverty,” says Anton Blank.
He states that the ‘Tick for Kids’ movement, which is less than a year old, is becoming an important non-partisan force in New Zealand and the engagement of politicians in ‘Tick for Kids’ events is proof of that.
When: Wednesday August 6th
Where: Ponsonby Primary School, 44 Curran Street, Herne Bay, Auckland
See event information.
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