About half of those I asked said they voted yes, but every single one of them said they did that because they were told that it would be even worse if we didn’t or that they felt they had no choice. Not one could tell me a single good thing about JI and each one said they weren’t comfortable with it but felt pressured to vote yes.
Just think about that: I couldn’t find one person who said they felt it was going to be a good move and could say why.
I was told time and again that the Joint Initiative union meetings (PUMS) were the tensest people ever recalled having, and one group said they walked out of theirs in anger at what they felt was the union rep’s bullying of them to vote yes.
And I – someone who lives and breathes education policy – didn’t vote at all because the information we had to vote on was pathetic and I refuse to vote blind.
I guess the most telling thing in the end is that whist 78% of those WHO VOTED, voted yes, the turn out was a mere 40% of NZEI members. This means that only around 31% of NZEI members voted for JI, including all those who did so under pressure.
Hardly a mandate, is it?
So why are NZEI walking us into this? If there are good reasons then they have failed to convey them. If, as I suspect, it is being done because they fear there is no real choice and the Minister will force clusters of learning one way or another, then they need to be honest about that.
Because the other thing people keep reminding me is that NZEI members voted in huge numbers and with quite a determined voice to reject IES only months ago, and they are baffled why their union now appears to have rolled over.
NZEI, I love you for so many reasons, but on this one you have a lot of explaining to do.
~ Dianne Khan
I’m very pleased to announce that NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Ministry of Education have agreed to the final outcomes of the first phase of the Joint Initiative. The main outcome is the development of a new “Community of Learning” model, based on what the sector and research told us really works to support children’s learning.
It’s hugely important that teachers speak up and shape system change, not just have it done to us. We can be in no doubt that the IES policy announced last year proposes fundamental changes to our education system. That’s why we progressed the Joint Initiative, taking a member-driven approach, because it’s so critical that educators are genuinely involved in change.
Now it’s time for you to have your say about the outcomes of the first phase of the Joint Initiative.
It is in the hands of members to determine the next steps and decide what direction you give to your negotiating team about whether to vary your collective agreements next month. Because the Community of Learning is a “package” we are proposing to bargain variations to both teacher and principal collective agreements together.
I strongly encourage you to attend your worksite meeting and vote on the outcome. Primary and area school worksite reps have been sent a meeting pack, so please talk to your rep about when your site meeting is taking place.
Key points of the agreement are listed below and you can read the full agreement and the Working Party documents at www.nzei.org.nz/joint-initiative
An important part of the agreement is a commitment to phase 2 of the Joint Initiative. This will look in more detail at possible roles and resourcing for support staff and ECE teachers in the Communities of Learning. Phase 2 will also address Maori and Pasifika learner success, special education and professional learning and development.
We have got this far because NZEI members have fought collectively for a child-centred, workable model that can be responsive to local needs and can change over time.
We believe the new model is an exciting educational development, genuinely shaped by educators. Inevitably, as with any negotiations, we have had to make compromises, but we are confident that the progress we have made will genuinely improve teaching and learning.
Louise Green, NZEI Te Riu Roa President/Te Manukura
What are the key elements of Communities of Learning?
1. Children at the centre
The name “Communities of learning” says it all really — it’s about children’s learning rather than more efficient administrative structures being the key driver for system change. So it includes the critical change of including the child’s whole pathway from early learning up.
2. New teaching roles to support learners’ transitions, cultural competency and better community engagement
Along with a focus on collaborative inquiry and expertise building, communities can chose teaching roles that focus on support for children with particular challenges in transition from ECE to school or within and across schools, or better family and community engagement or cultural competency to meet Maori and Pasifika learners’ needs. For example, an across school teaching role with a focus on transition could help families with special needs kids who need extra support when their child moves from kindergarten to school and/or work with other teachers across their community to ensure all schools and services have effective transition programmes.
3. Shared leadership
Along with a community leader, learning communities can chose from a range of leadership roles their community needs, rather than have one leader doing it all. This means important leadership skills like facilitation, curriculum expertise, coaching and mentoring and teaching skills can be recognised, and reflected in principals’ career pathways.
4. Flexible and responsive
Communities can better meet the needs of their kids and local community because they can choose the money, time and people they need. The model is responsive and flexible, with the choice of time, money and people shaped to a large extent by the community itself, rather than a one-size fits all model imposed by Government. There will still be required roles (teachers working across and within schools and a leader) but there are a range of options for their focus.
5. Pool time and money
Communities will be able to pool time and money to ensure teachers can get together at times that will least impact on their relationships with kids/best suit their own communities. The model recognises that due to the nature of primary schooling and ECE services, more time is a critical component if teachers are to genuinely collaborate together.
You can read the full agreement, details about the next phase of the Joint Initiative and the Working Party’s report at www.nzei.org.nz/joint-initiative
Press Release from NZEI
The latest announcement that just 129 further schools have expressed interest in the Government’s controversial $359 million Investing in Educational Success scheme is a clear indication of the lack of confidence that teachers and principals have in the plan.
It has been more than a year since the Prime Minister announced that the Government was intending to spend millions of dollars creating new roles for teachers and principals.
NZEI President Louise Green says to date less than ten percent of schools have taken the first step towards signing up to the scheme.
“This clearly shows that teachers and principals do not believe in the IES top-down managerial approach or that creating new highly paid roles for some will benefit children’s learning. That’s why the majority continue to reject the IES.”
QPEC wants to know why the extra resources provided by the government’s flagship teacher policy are overwhelmingly being captured by the schools that cater for the wealthiest suburbs of our richest city.
“It is now clear the ‘education for success’ is a policy to keep National and ACT voters in Epsom and Remuera happy, rather than to lift the educational achievement in our poorer communities” says John Minto, QPEC spokesperson.
“The glaring anomaly is that 21 of the 43 new teaching positions doled out in this funding round have gone to very wealthy communities in central and north Auckland.
“This is the government’s one big initiative in seven years to raise student achievement but ‘success’ funding is going to the already successful.
Low decile areas have been promised additional resources – they are the government’s priority. The lowest decile group of schools allocated funding will get only 2 additional teachers, and that is the only group in which most of the schools are serve poor communities.
The policy is supposed to provide expert teachers to support learning in areas that need it, but instead the majority of the resources in this round have gone to many of the richest schools in the country.
“The rich get richer and the poor get zilch”, said John Minto.
The first list of what National has done to education was lonnnng. Very long. And scary. Verrrrrry scary, You get my drift. But since it was published a year ago, there have been new horrors, many of which prove all the more interesting when you consider the $$$ involved:
Add to those ….
… and a picture is painted of a government concerned not a jot with the poorest or most needy in our society. What a sad indictment.
High decile schools such as Auckland Grammar are pocketing the majority of funding, while decile 1 and 2 schools are getting just 6%, even though they make up 14% of the schools in the scheme.
NZEI’s data analysis of the first 11 communities of schools (CoS) approved by Education Minister Hekia Parata late last year, shows that the allocation of resources will overwhelmingly favour the groups of large, high-decile schools.`
The Auckland Central and Mid Bays (North Shore) communities consist almost entirely of decile 8-10 schools and between them will have 46% of the in-school lead teachers and 44% of the teacher inquiry time in the current allocation.
Those two communities will also have 21 of the 43 expert teachers who are tasked with spreading their expertise across the schools in their CoS. In comparison, Napier’s CoS of seven decile 1 and 2 schools will have just two expert teachers.
NZEI Te Riu Roa President Louise Green said primary teachers and principals overwhelming voted “no confidence” in IES last year because the $359 million for the scheme was not going to directly benefit children. Most of the money will go towards pay bonuses for lead principals and teachers.
“this data shows even more clearly that the kids who really need help are not going to get it”
“IES was supposedly about raising educational achievement across the board, but this data shows even more clearly that the kids who really need help are not going to get it. Lower decile schools are even less interested in IES than other schools because it doesn’t meet their students’ needs, so they aren’t bothering to sign up.
“Children need smaller classes for more one-on-one attention, more teacher aides for special needs, 100% qualified early childhood teachers and better resourcing of bi-lingual education for Maori and Pasifika. Highly paid “expert” teachers moving between schools overseen by a highly paid lead principal are not going to deliver the results the Minister wants, because IES is not what the vast majority of schools and students want or need.”
See also: Who has joined IES so far?
Out of over 2,500 schools in NZ, only a small number (listed below) seem to have so far joined the IES (Investing in Educational Success) clusters of schools.
Of the almost 2000 primary and intermediate schools, only 58 have signed up according to this list.
Given NZEI are currently negotiating their Better Plan initiative and the strong NZEI vote against IES in August 2014, it is intriguing that even 58 schools have signed up. There are rumours whirling that some schools were signed up against their wishes, but I have no firm evidence for this, so who knows.
And given the PPTA and high schools’ much more positive reaction to IES, it’s perhaps a little surprising so few colleges that have joined at this point.
It’s interesting to look at the Auckland clusters, where all but three schools are decile 9 and 10 and the lowest decile school is 7, and consider why that might be and how much value that is adding to the overall fabric of our education system. Where are the lower decile schools, and why?
And no charter schools. Why?
Anyway, there is much to ponder, and IES and the Better Plan will unfold as the year goes on.
For now, here are the lists – make of them what you will:
If you know of any not listed here, or listed by accident, please let us know. And, of course, comments are always welcome.
Sources and further info: http://www.education.govt.nz/ministry-of-education/specific-initiatives/investing-in-educational-success/
Following the strong negative vote against the IES in August, NZEI Te Riu Roa has continued to work with the Ministry to find a way forward.
NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Ministry of Education have jointly launched a new initiative to support success for New Zealand children and young people at every level of their learning.
Both our union and the Ministry have agreed it is in the best interests of students and the education system to recognise our differences but to make progress where there is agreement – in particular, keeping students at the centre of teaching and learning, supporting successful collaboration and transitions and developing improved career pathways.
While it is early days, I am confident that members will continue to work together to help develop this into a viable, sustainable and long term alternative to the IES.
The initiative announced is a significant step for all NZEI members and a way forward for NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Ministry. It has come about because members kept true to our values. We rejected the IES and called for a Better Plan. We asked for genuine discussion with educators. We asked for flexible, locally-driven ways to support collaboration. We asked for resourcing to support kids and their learning, not just for new roles. We rejected top-down, one-size fits all models and said we should build off existing successful practice. We voted against National Standards being the determinant of resourcing or roles. We asked for evidence-based approaches.
This new initiative provides a framework that supports our goals and our approach to ensuring all children get quality education. It is what you, as members, have been fighting for, and it takes us into a proactive space where we can work on developing and enhancing what we know is really best for education.
SO WHAT IS THIS NEW INITIATIVE?
The new initiative will seek to identify:
The initiative is comprehensive, looking at what resourcing and roles are needed throughout early childhood education, primary, support staff and special education.
Any new roles identified will be linked to existing career pathways and be negotiated into collective agreements.
Educational achievement is identified in the initiative’s terms of reference as being the vision of student success outlined in the NZ Curriculum, not a narrow National Standards measurement.
Ministry and NZEI joint working parties will also look at existing and potential models of learning communities that encourage greater collaboration and support successful transition. We want to engage with schools and ECE services around New Zealand to identify successful examples of collaboration and transition on-the-ground, as well as through research. You can read the fullTerms of Reference for the joint work here.
We believe this is an exciting opportunity for NZEI members to really help improve the education system, based on what we know works for kids. It includes elements of our Better Plan – isues that members and parents prioritised for more investment. And the agreement means we can look at work being done now in schools to lift achievement and work with the Ministry to build flexible and locally determined learning communities.
HOW CAN YOU BE INVOLVED?
There will be working parties established to look at collaboration, transition and success for Maori and Pasifika learners. These working parties will be looking for examples of successful practice throughout New Zealand.
There will also be a brief video outlining the main points of the new initiative on www.nzei.org.nzshortly.
Principals and BoT staff reps – please inform your Board and school community of this initiative. There is more information here.
The working parties will meet at the start of 2015 and work through to the end of May. However the terms of reference recognise that further work beyond May will be required given the scope of this initiative.
The Ministry will continue implementation of the IES with willing schools but we are confident that this new initiative will better meet the needs of children and our sectors. We continue to encourage schools to stand by the August vote and not engage with the IES but instead put energy into this new way forward.
Have a great festive season and a relaxing holiday.
President Te Manukura
Just 71 individual schools, or groups of schools, out of 2,500 have expressed any interest in the scheme.
“This is hardly a successful result for the Government,” said NZEI National President Judith Nowotarski
“It’s an inevitable outcome and shows what happens when the Government fails to work with school communities before trying to impose a top down one-size-fits-all approach on schools.
“Quite frankly, this is embarrassing for the Government. It shows that it needs to go back to the drawing board and start talking to teachers, principals and parents about how it can use the $359m in the best interests of kids and their education.
“I think this rejection is a win for kids because now it is clear that this scheme is struggling. We need to come up with something that will really benefit all kids’ learning based on what schools themselves identify as important.”
Ms Nowotarski said that this time the focus must be on the needs of students.”
– NZEI Press Release
At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the Community of Schools (CoS) Within School Teacher and the CoS Across Community Teacher positions in Secondary Teachers Collective Agreement (STCA).
27 meetings were held and all voted to include the positions.
PPTA president Angela Roberts was pleased with the way PPTA had been able to work constructively with the government to turn IES into something that could operate well in schools.
“This is a win for collectivism. It is an example of teacher unions being in their rightful place, at the table taking part in the process. Decisions are being made with us rather than for us,” she said.
Roberts acknowledged there would be challenges ahead and that membership support for the IES initiative was by no means universal with 19.7% opposing the inclusion of the positions in the agreement.
“Members have valid concerns that we will continue to push the government to address.”
There was still a lot of work to be done and Roberts advised the government to continue the collaborative approach it has taken so far.
“Internationally countries that do well in education have a robust, functioning relationship between the government and teacher unions,” she said.
– Ends –
Last week I gave a presentation to some Australian and English academics in Sydney (see slides below). I wanted to emphasise the dilemmas faced by the sector and how the opportunity to be ‘in the tent’ and negotiate had heightened rather than reduced those dilemmas. I tried to give a fair representation of the different points of view, along with some of my own framing of course. Here are some of the main responses from the audience (in no particular order):
Professor Martin Thrupp’s expertise is in: Social class and education; the impact of managerialism and performativity in schools; school choice and competition; international policy borrowing; contextualised approaches to educational leadership.
For more information on Professor Thrupp’s work and publications, see here.
Just as primary had a teacher organisation that headed rogue but was pulled back, secondary has one too, the PPTA executive, but not yet reined in. However, great news – from information just to hand, the PPTA is about to be provided with the opportunity to head back to good sense. But it will require its various branches to act decisively, publicly, and soon – soon so that it becomes part of the election debate.
I am now in receipt of a terrific declaration from a PPTA branch, sent to all branches – directly opposed to the PPTA executive support for the IES.
The main points set out in the declaration are:
We believe we are now in a position diametrically opposed to our sister union, NZEI, and such an opposition does nothing for the greater good of state education. We also believe that the IES proposals will not bring about the success envisaged.
This branch believes that the real cause of disparity in educational achievement is to be found in the composition of school rolls and no effective collaboration among schools can occur until the inequity inherent in such compositions can be addressed.
[All hail, the writer of this – whose name I know – you will go down in the annals.]
1. Although PPTA assures us it sought an early collaborative approach with NZEI as the two main state unions involved in the discussions, we believe that our emphasis on policy has outweighed any real attention being given to NZEI’s legitimate concerns.
2. PPTA should not have agreed to participate in confidential negotiations, thereby leaving its membership out in the cold.
3. This branch believes that if $359 million over four years can be found to improve educational success, then there are better ways of using the money than contained in these proposals.
4. This branch believes that the IES proposals will undermine the current working of schools by destabilising administration and teaching, through the removal of key people on an on-going basis.
5. This branch believes that the IES proposals will impact upon all current teacher workloads, not just those of the four categories of teachers envisaged under the scheme.
6. This branch recommends that PPTA should be looking at career pathways differently, to ensure the best teachers have the option of continuing to do what they do best, that is teach. Such scrutiny could involve:
Higher teacher qualifications on entry; a more rigorous teacher selection process; the quality of training programmes; a basic career pay scale that runs for 20 years for a qualified teacher; a separate MU pay scale that offers real incentives and rewards for responsibility both in time and money for middle management.
7. This branch also recommends that PPTA look at assessing the current classroom teacher workload, reviewing NCEA; its initial objectives and form, its subsequent modifications, its impact on teacher and student workload and learning. We propose that we as a union support the position of less assessment in schools.
So there you have it. As regular readers of this site will know, this declaration is utterly consistent with what has been expressed in various postings. And they will be aware of the fierce but defensive arguments in response by members of the executive.
The PPTA signing of the IES has seriously harmed discussion of the education manifestos of the opposition parties (Labour, Greens, and NZ First) and what a tragedy – these manifestos in total being the best manifesto expressions, in my memory, of the needs of children and teachers – early childhood, primary, and secondary. If we go down the farcical and dangerous IES track, it will be a heart-rending loss for education.
Organisers of this declaration, get it out there – this could be huge.
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’s VIEW (in NZEI’s words)
WHAT NZEI WANTS INSTEAD OF IES (in NZEI’s words)
PPTA’s VIEW (in PPTA’s words unless indicated by * in which case I have paraphrased)
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)
Interim details of IES agreement as detailed by PPTA are as follows:
IES has changed significantly from the original cabinet proposal. The bottom lines identified by members as essential to the process have all been met.
Role A (formerly Executive Principal) is now the Community of Schools Leadership role.
Role B (formerly Expert Teacher) is now the Community of Schools Teacher (across community) role.
Role C (formerly Lead Teacher) is now the Community of Schools Teacher (within school) role.
The job functions for the above roles are as agreed in the Working Party Report:
(see Ministry of Education website Investing in Educational Success: design and implementation)
1. Community of Schools Teacher (across schools)
• $16,000 per annum, 10 hours per week (which may be timetabled weekly or used in
blocks of time throughout the year).
• Minimum teaching contact time of 8 hours per week
• Access for unit holders (up to two permanent MUs)
• Fixed-term, 2+2 years
• $750 direct PLD funding per teacher per year (tagged funding in the school’s operations
2. Community of Schools Teacher (within schools)
• $8000 per annum
• Minimum teaching contact time of 16 hours per week (12 hours per week for part-time
• Access for unit holders (up to two permanent MUs)
• Mostly permanent roles, up to 40% can be allocated on a fixed-term basis (same as
• $400 per year per role for PLD
• An additional 2 hours of non-contact time per week (which may be timetabled weekly or
used in blocks of time throughout the year).
Provision has been made for secondary schools to form Communities of Schools (CoS) where there is no natural grouping with primary schools.
There is provision for a senior teacher who is not a principal to be appointed to the Community of Schools Leadership position where this is appropriate for the Community of Schools (CoS).
Acting up allowances will be paid to teachers who pick up duties transferred from other teachers who are appointed to CoS roles.
There is also provision for members to apply for the Teacher Led Innovation Fund and PPTA will be involved in the development of a formula to allocate inquiry time into schools.
22 August 2014 Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Okay peeps, I have been trying to get information about the PPTA’s interim agreement on the IES today. My goal in that was (still is) to understand it clearly myself, and to be able to fairly and honestly discuss it and share it.
People are asking a lot of questions, and the same ones are coming up repeatedly, from PPTA members and others.
People want to know, for example:
It seems, from the replies I got today on Twitter, the PPTA think I am on some mission to undermine the proposal. I’m not. If IES has morphed into something good, then of course I will support it. If I’m still concerned, I’d ask questions.
In either case, I want to share the factual info with PPTA members and others so they can make up their own minds rather than rely on soundbites and bias. What I’ve found so far is linked to below.
Thanks to Tom Haig at PPTA for the answers I did get and for the links to further info, which are very much appreciated:
So far I have been informed that:
The Minister’s press release leaves questions as it tells quite a different story:
“The Ministry of Education last week reached agreements with the PPTA, SPANZ and the New Zealand School Trustees Association, on how the new leadership and teaching roles will work as part of theInvesting in Educational Success initiative.”
Note it doesn’t say interim agreements. It doesn’t say might work. It says agreements and will – it speaks as if it is a done deal.
This despite it not being voted on.
It then states that:
“The Ministry of Education has now started the process of calling for expressions of interest from all schools who want to work together as Communities of Schools.’
This despite PPTA and SPANZ not having voted yet, and NZEI rejecting IES.
This rather smacks of IES being forced through whatever.
Which is why I think we all, at all levels of the education sector, need to be clear what is going on, and not just at our own level. Because we are getting all sorts of conflicting information, and it’s confusing.
And because if IES is brought in it will impact all schools, not just those that voted for it.
PPTA’s advice to those wanting more information is to go to them direct. After a dig at NZEI being my union (it’s not, I no longer belong to a union), a grouchy exchange on both sides concluded with:
Links to further info are here: