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
In the lead-up to the 2014 Budget, less than 6% of people think the government’s plan to establish new leadership roles for some principals and teachers is a good use of increased education funding, according to a new poll.
The poll, commissioned by NZEI Te Riu Roa, surveyed a cross-section of New Zealanders last month and found little support for prioritising the $359 million Investing in Educational Success policy, which has also been widely panned by teachers.
Respondents were somewhat supportive of the package (56%), but when asked what were the most important areas of education in which to spend extra money, the components of the policy were bottom of the list by a wide margin (paying $40,000 to executive principals to oversee a group of schools – 1%; paying $50,000 to experienced principals to turn around struggling schools – 6%; paying $10,000 to experienced teachers to work with teachers in other schools two days a week – 3%).
The poll showed that the public was more interested in
NZEI President Judith Nowotarski said the poll showed that teachers were not alone in believing putting the money into frontline teachers and support would be a far more effective way to lift student success.
“The government dreamed up this policy with the idea that it would somehow benefit students. It’s a great pity they didn’t bother to consult anyone who knows anything about what students need for educational success,” she said.
Parents are starting to ask questions about the lack of consultation in the spending of this significant amount of money.
An Auckland mother has set up an online petition asking the government to consult teachers, principals, boards of trustees and parents before implementing the policy.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
NZEI National President Judith Nowotarski: ph 027 475 4140
Communications Officers: Debra Harrington ph 027 268 3291,
Melissa Schwalger 027 276 7131
A number of school principals have recently been invited by NZCER to take part in national PaCT tool reading and writing trials.
Last year, NZEI and other sector groups successfully fought Government plans to make the PaCT tool mandatory from 2015, as part of the drive to embed National Standards into schooling.
After NZEI Te Riu Roa, NZ Principals’ Federation, the NZ Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools, and the Catholic Principals Association called on schools to cease any involvement in the further development of PaCT, the Minister back-tracked on her decision to make PaCT mandatory.
However, we have become aware that schools have again been approached to take part in a further round of trials beginning in June.
We strongly encourage you not to take part in these trials. The PaCT is an attempt to give credibility to dodgy National Standards and to create a “value added” modelling tool. PaCT data could be used to provide spurious data to underpin future policies aimed at ranking teacher performance against student achievement. It could also be used to make high stakes decisions about school funding, and/or to identify and review the “value added” performance of Executive Principals, Expert Teachers and Lead Teachers in the Government’s proposed $359 million “Investing in Educational Success” scheme.
NZEI recommends you meet with your boards and teachers to discuss the implications of the IES so you can work, where possible, towards a unified “whole school” approach to the initiative.
NZEI Te Riu Roa will be participating in the Minister’s working group on the $359 million initiative to ensure there is fairness and transparency for members and the best outcomes for children and their learning.
Members will be fully engaged in ways similar to collective negotiation processes to ensure robust negotiations around the creation of the roles and allowances proposed.
NZEI will not accept students’ National Standards outcomes as criteria for selecting or reviewing the performance of either “expert” or “lead” teachers or “executive” or “change” principal roles.