Educators are joining with disabled people, families and service providers to rally at Parliament tomorrow, Thursday 22 September, to let Government know that their Special Education Update is totally inadequate and it is time to invest in inclusion.
“NZEI is concerned that the Special Education Grant (SEG) paid to schools through operational grant funding is failing to keep up with wage inflation and roll growth,” said Louise Green NZEI Te Riu Roa President.
“Between 2009 and 2016, the SEG fell by 1.8% when labour cost increases are taken into account, according to information released to Education Aotearoa under the OIA.
“In the same period, school rolls have risen from 760,859 students to 776,816 and the identification of students with special education need has increased dramatically. So there really needs to be much more funding going into SEG than the Government is current providing to ensure the value of the funding per student increases.
“The SEG is mainly spent on teacher aides to help meet students’ special education needs. The inadequate levels of funding puts real pressure on a school’s ability to provide the best education possible for all their students.
“Any parent or teacher of a special needs child can tell you that the level of learning support funded through the Ministry of Education is inadequate, and in many cases non-existent.
“The recent Special Education Update proposal to shift resources to pre-schoolers, without putting any additional funding into the system won’t work in the best interests of all children who need the support. They need more funding.
“We strongly support greater investment in early intervention, but that should not come at the expense of those who need support when they are older. Funding should be based on the need for intervention and support, not age,” said Louise Green.
Education for All Rally
Where: Parliament forecourt
When: Tomorrow, Thursday 22 September 4.30-5.30pm
Organised by Education for All, a collaboration involving the disability and education sectors, including NZEI Te Riu Roa
Marches and rallies all over the country to fight the Global Education Reform Movement (GERM) and stand up for kids.
These are the events listed so far. (There will no doubt be more that have not made the list yet, so please let me know of any more I should add.)
Whangarei – 11am march from Library (Rust St) to Laurie Hill Park
Auckland – Gather in Queen Elizabeth Square (bottom of Queen St) from 11am, march up Queen St at 11.30am, arrive at Aotea Sqaure for rally approx 12.15pm
Hamilton – Meet 11am at Band Rotunda (Memorial Park cnr Bridge & Victoria Sts). March across Bridge St bridge, into Grey St, through shopping centre to Steel Park for BBQ and speakers.
Rotorua – Meet 10.30am Kuirau Park BBQ area, march to City Focus for speeches and back.
New Plymouth – 11 am March from cnr Gover St & Devon St East through to the Puke Ariki Landing for speeches and sausage sizzle.
Hawera – 11 am rally in town square
Palmerston North – Meet 11.30 am Square (quadrant opp. Plaza) – march around the Square and back to Plaza quadrant for speeches and sausage sizzle.
Whanganui – Assemble from 10.30 at Chronicle offices in Taupo Quay. March at 11am to Majestic Square for rally & sausage sizzle.
Napier/Hastings – 11am gather at Civic Square, marching to Sound Shell for rally with speakers
Wairoa – 8.30am marching from town library to town bridge.
Gisborne – 11am march from Lowe St through Main st – Gladstone Rd
Wellington – Meet 12pm at the Cenotaph to march up the path to Parliament grounds
Marlborough – Meet 11am, The Forum, Market Square, cnr High St & Market Rd, Blenheim
Kaikoura – Meet 11am, Dolphin Encounter, 96 Esplanade, Kaikoura
Motueka – Meet 10.30am, Motueka Museum, High St
Nelson – Meet 11am, church steps, Nelson Cathedral
Buller – Meet 10am, The Clock Tower, Westport
Golden Bay – Meet 10.30am, The Village Green, Takaka
Christchurch – Meet 11am, Gerry Brownlee’s ofice, Grahams Rd, Burnside
Mid Canterbury – Meet 11am, East St, Ashburton township
South Canterbury – Meet 11am, Caroline Bay, Timaru
Dunedin – Meet at Dental School (310 Great King St) 11am march to the Octagon
Invercargill – Meet Middle School Jed St, 11.15am march down Tay St, rally at Wachner Place 11.30am
Take time to attend. Voices are needed.
19 February 2012
4pm at the CBS arena, Jack Hinton Drive, Addington
Christchurch school communities and supporters will gather this afternoon to show support for schools that have been earmarked for closure and merger and to tell the Government that it needs to show more respect for the people of Christchurch.
NZEI National President Judith Nowotarski says educators are very concerned about the pace that the Government wants to impose these changes on Christchurch children and educators.
“We are looking at a much more accelerated process than originally planned. Some schools that had originally been told the changes would take place over four years have now been told that they will be merged by the beginning of next year.
“This is very worrying because it appears the timetable has been set more for political purposes than educational ones.
“Frankly, we have serious doubts about whether the Ministry of Education has the capacity to undertake this process within the proposed timeframe. The Christchurch rebuild has been extremely slow and the experience of other school mergers and closures gives us little confidence.
”We believe there is a very real risk that children’s education will once again be put in jeopardy.”
Ms Nowotarski says the past five months have been extremely difficult for the education community in Christchurch.
“This has been a botched and disrespectful process. The Minister will have to go forward in a much more credible and respectful manner than she has shown in the past.”
Today’s rally will take place at 4 pm at the CBS arena and will be followed by a march to the Ministry of Education offices in Princess St”
Please go to www.transportforchch.govt.nz to the latest update on road conditions and access to the CBS Arena. Parking is available.
What to Bring
We will be seeking support for the following motion:
If you’re out of Christchurch:
Please support our Christchurch schools by encouraging your school to wear red and black tomorrow and posting photos to the Listen to Christchurch Facebook page.
NZEI’s top priority continues to be to stand up for teachers, support staff and kids in Christchurch and support all schools to remain safe and stable environments where great teaching and learning can continue.
We are committed to ensuring there are fair processes for all school staff through the next stage of the process. We have been listening to all schools in Christchurch and we will be offering a full range of assistance and support to those schools that have been identified for merger or closure. This includes offering schools assistance as they undertake further engagement with their communities about whether to accept or fight the interim decisions.
Today is a day for Christchurch parents, educators and communities to come together and have a voice on the future of learning in our city, culminating in a family friendly, city-wide event at CBS Arena.
All who care about the future of education in Canterbury welcome!
This is one of those great moments where you are so glad someone with a high profile gets to smackdown idiot reporters…
Now all we need is someone high profile in New Zealand to start shouting for sane education policies here …
Peter O’Connor, Associate professor at Auckland University’s Faculty of Education, says schools have been a key part in holding together small communities since the earthquakes, and their closure is likely to have a negative impact on those communities. Principals, teachers, parents and other education experts agree.
Ouruhia Model School principal Mark Ashmore-Smith says they plan to fight the decision to close their small school.
Emma Goodin says the school has been a place of normality and stability for her three children since losing their home in the quake. “I can’t believe for all that, for all I’ve been through in the last two years, they would pick a moment like this just to kick me when I thought that I was as down as I could go,” she says. (source)
Cantabrians are not going to give in without a fight, though. Already there are protests, petitions, support pages on social media all up and running, and there are a number of rallies planned. A protest has been organised is being held on Wednesday at 5.30pm at the Bridge of Remembrance.
I will keep you abreast of events as the unfurl, and please do let me know of any events, petitions etc that I have missed.
Kia Kaha, Christchurch.
Now, go lend your support to Christchurch and those schools fighting back – every word of support means a lot:
Sources and further reading: