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 –
Epsom voters have an opportunity to protect the New Zealand education system this election.
PPTA is launching a campaign today to inform voters in the electorate about ACT’s disastrous charter school policy – with posters and leaflets being distributed (see attached sample).
“ACT’s education policies are based on an extremist ideology which has no basis in evidence,” PPTA President Angela Roberts says.
A single ACT MP brought in charter schools in 2011 and 2014 ACT Epsom electorate candidate David Seymour has boasted about his involvement in the policy and has committed to expanding it, she said.
“PPTA welcomes good education policy from whichever party advances it, but ACT’s policy is fundamentally broken.
“Its goals of expanding competition and market forces in education have been shown by international and local evidence to be worthless for raising the quality of the school system, and simply entrench social inequity,” Roberts said.
“Charter schools are an expensive and unnecessary experiment. Even the National-led government’s other single electorate support partner, Peter Dunne, voted against them and has said that they are not required,” she said.
Seymour said charter school students would get “no more or less” funding than students at public schools, Roberts said.
This year, the 350 students at charter schools are costing the taxpayer over $7million to educate, not including the start-up grants given to the schools in 2013. This would have been $2.5 million if they had stayed at public schools.
Contact: PPTA president Angela Roberts: 021 806 337
Authorised by Kevin Bunker, PPTA, 60 Willis St, Wellington
“This is the last chance teachers have to elect their own council before the Government replaces it with the newly formed Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (EDUCANZ).
“Education Minister Hekia Parata has cited low voter turnout as a justification for doing away with elections altogether. That’s clearly caught people’s attention and the high interest in this year’s council election shows just how much teachers value their voice.
“For a professional body to be effective it must have the confidence and support of those that it seeks to govern. EDUCANZ won’t have that support because teachers feel so disempowered as a result of its creation.
“Submissions to the select committee considering this change overwhelmingly opposed the removal of democracy from the teaching profession. In fact, the Government’s wider education reforms were completely opposed by 91 per cent, or 855 of 937 submitters.
“Labour believes teachers should have their own voice.
“A Labour Government will guarantee their right to elect their own representatives to their professional body,” Chris Hipkins says.
For more information:
The candidates are as follows.
Early Childhood Education Sector
ANDREWS Tiffany – Tauranga
CONNELL Bevan – Upper Hutt
EDGELER Clair – Auckland
IVES Phillipa – Christchurch
JEUNE Margaret – Levin
SHEARSBY Viv – Christchurch
SPRAGGS David – Gisborne
TREWEEK Julie – Matamata
VARNEY Jenny – Upper Hutt
WALL Josie – Papakura
WILSON Cathy – Porirua
BLAKEY Shelley – Tauranga
CRONIN Brenda – Auckland
HIWINUI SOLOMON Arna Rose – Raglan
MACKIE Sarndra – Rotoura
ORMANDY Sally – Christchurch
ROBINS Susan – Auckland
SARICH Shell – Northland
SHORTLAND Jim – Moerewa
TAMAMASUI Pena – Auckland
TUIONO Teariki o te Maka – Auckland
AMOS Claire – Auckland
CASSIDY Megan – Christchurch
CRUDEN John – Timaru
FLAVELL Will – Auckland
GOULD Jan – Wellington
KAHL Jo – Wellington
KING Stuart – Auckland
MCGRATH Fiona Gaylene – Whangarei
MITCHELL Karen – Auckland
OTTO Pennie Vaione – Auckland
PIERCE Gregory – Havelock North
SHEPPARD Doug – Lower Hutt
TARRY Michael – Auckland
BRUCE Linley – Auckland
MALCOLM Anne – Auckland
NEWMAN Pat – Whangarei
The elections will be conducted by internet and postal voting, using the First Past the Post (FPP) voting system.
Voting information together with information about the candidates will be sent to all registered teachers on Wednesday 3 September 2014.
Voting closes at 12 noon on Friday 3 October 2014.
Candidate names will be listed on the voting documents in pseudo random order.
Any queries are to be directed to the Returning Officer on the Election Helpline on 0508 666 001
As it’s election year, you will want to know the education policies of the people clamouring for your vote. The rhetoric and mainstream media reporting doesn’t always give a clear picture. Mind you, policies sometimes don’t either… but it’s still a good idea to read, think and discuss them.
After reading, I’d love to hear what your thoughts are. Is there anything more you would like to ask? Anything you want to challenge? Anything you’re pleased to see, or think is missing? Also, feel free to add your comments or links to additional party policies at the bottom.
While education for many children is among the best in the world, we have a well-known “long-tail” of underachievers, who become the next generation of under skilled, unemployed, disengaged citizens. After 70 years of state controlled and mandated education, we have a situation where around 20% of our children left school last year unable to read or write sufficiently to fill out a job application.
Specific Policy Points
Labour on dyslexia and learning difference
The Labour Party stands for an inclusive education system in which every New Zealander is given the opportunity to achieve to their full potential. We recognise that everyone is different, we all learn at different rates, and we all have different strengths and abilities.
Every school a great school
Every New Zealand child has the right to attend their local school and to have any individual learning needs they may have catered for at that school. Labour wants to ensure that every school is a great school, and every teacher a great teacher. We will invest heavily in teacher professional development, including programmes that equip teachers to cater to the diverse range of learning needs our students have.
Equal opportunity for all
Labour is increasingly concerned about the growing inequality within our education system. No one should have their options limited because of the part of society they are born into. Labour is committed to addressing the issue of child poverty.
Equal access to support
We have been vocal in raising concerns about unequal access to Special Assessment Conditions for NCEA candidates and have made clear out commitment to ensuring that every student gets the support they need, regardless of what school they attend. No student should be denied access to SAC because their parents are unable to pay for the specialist assessments required to apply for it.
A change to special education funding
Labour is concerned that the current funding system for special education relies too heavily on individual learners meeting the criteria imposed by the system, rather than the system catering for the individual needs of each learner. We want to turn that around so that every student with an identified learning need gets the support necessary for them to achieve to their full potential.
National’s unrelenting focus is on raising achievement for all our students. Most of our kids are successfully getting the qualifications they need from school and going on to enjoy the opportunities a great education provides. But our plan is about getting all of our kids achieving education success and raising achievement for five out of five.
We believe high-quality education is vitally important. It provides the opportunity for any child from any background to get ahead and make the most of their life. Research and experience show that providing an intensive package of support for students with complex needs in their local schools results in better outcomes for students.
National’s aim is to achieve a fully inclusive education system with confident schools, confident parents, and confident children. We want to see all schools demonstrating inclusive practice.
The wraparound service approach supports the findings in the Special Education Review 2010, the Government’s key themes for special education, and the Ministry’s commitment to achieving inclusive practices through improved systems and support as outlined in the Positive Behaviour for Learning action plan. This plan focuses on supporting parents and providing teachers in all schools with the skills and knowledge to deal with behavioural issues.
UPDATED – Latest policy as at 5/9/14 is HERE: http://nzfirst.org.nz/sites/nzfirst/files/manifesto_2014_final_version_3.pdf
New Zealand First is very aware of the current lack of support for students with the educational challenges faced by those with Dyslexia. And while there have been some steps towards providing support for these students at NCEA level. It is our view that not only should these supports in the later educational years be strengthened but that these solutions must be delivered down into the earlier education years.
New Zealand First is a strong advocate for “front ending the spend”. And I am currently working on a policy presentation around enhancing the collection of School Entry Assessment data so that children with educational needs can be identified earlier and provided with these supports, along the lines of the Finnish education system, earlier rather than later when damage to self-esteem has already taken place.
It is our view that it is inappropriate for any students family to have to privately fund an educational psychologists report in order for their child to access academic support for dyslexia. At a recent financial review of NZQA I raised the topic of digital independence from human reader/writers for our NCEA students. For example, a screen reader is an essential piece of software for a blind or visually impaired person which could be also be of use to those with dyslexia. Simply put, a screen reader transmits whatever text is displayed on the computer screen into a form that a visually impaired user can process (usually tactile, auditory or a combination of both). It does not take a large stretch of the imagination to see that this technology could be used to “read” for those with dyslexia. And the fact that there are several screen reader programmes that are free to the user and we see that cost now no longer becomes a factor. What about the challenge of writing for our dyslexic students – well voice recognition has been around for a very long time now and with many schools moving to a “bring your own device environment” a headset microphone and cool earphones should not even raise an eyebrow in a modern learning environment.
It is our view that National Standards has not identified anything new for these or other New Zealand students. New Zealand Teachers were already aware of those children who were having difficulty due to a variety of reasons. New Zealand First would have preferred to spend the close to $38 million budgeted to date for National Standards on the actual identification of children with challenges and providing the appropriate resources to support them participate to their best ability inside our schools. While current and recent governments have finally acknowledged that Dyslexia exists they have taken no concrete steps to assist these students as early as possible through the appropriate resourcing of schools to support these students with identification testing (as you are aware dyslexia has an enormous range and require very individual assessment) and digital resources so that the student, at the earliest possible time in their development, can learn alongside their peers with pride, can meet success inside an educational environment that supports their specific challenge while celebrating the alternative and creative perspective these same students bring to the classroom environment.
Should New Zealand First have influence after the 2014 election this is an area we would seek to invest in. (end)
So there you go – the main parties’ policies and statements on education. What are your thoughts after reading them? Anything more you would like to ask? Anything you want to challenge? Any other policies or information to add? Comment below.
If it inspires to you to ask more, or to share your thoughts, you can use these links to reach your local MP and the main NZ newspapers:
Click here for a list of New Zealand MPs’ email addresses
Click here for email addresses of NZ Newspapers
And last but not least … do remember to VOTE.
Sources and further reading:
It is astounding the list of wrongs done to the Kiwi education system in a few short years. I’m not exaggerating – it is just beyond belief. To the point that when I try to think of it all, my head hurts and a thousand conflicting issues start fighting for prominence rendering me unable to sort through the spaghetti of information and in need of a big glass of Wild Side feijoa cider.
I live and breathe this stuff, and if I find it bewildering I can only imagine what it does to the average parent or teacher, grandparent or support staff.
So I am truly grateful that Local Bodies today published a post listing the long list of things public education has had thrown at it since National came to power.
This is the list. It needs to be read then discussed with friends, colleagues, family, teachers, students, MPs and the guy on the train. Because this is it – this is what has been thrown at education in a few short years. It is no overstatement to say that New Zealand Public education is under attack.
Take a breath, and read on:
A National led Government was elected and New Zealand’s public education system came under heavy attack:
You can add to the list the change to teacher training that allows teachers to train in 6 weeks in the school holidays and then train on the job in one school without varied practicums, just as Teach For America does to bring in low cost, short term, untrained ‘teachers’. (Coincidentally great for charter schools, especially those running for profit.)
The full Local Bodies article is here. It is well worth sharing and discussing (share the original, not this – the full article is better)
Please be aware that what has already gone on is just the preamble to far more extensive measures getting increasing more about Milton Friedman’s “free market” than about good, equal, free public education for all.
Unless you want NZ to descend into the horrors being seen now in England and the United States, you need to act. How?
Because three more years like this and the list above will look like child’s play.
When the blogger, Imperator Fish asked in a blogpost headlined – Did You Vote For Charter Schools? – he wasn’t just using a catchy title. He was raising a valid point.
Nowhere on the ACT website is Charter Schools mentioned in any of their policies.
Not. A. Word.
Instead, ACT’s education policy page mentions the usual waffle about “more choice” and some disturbing rhetoric about “the benefits of making education more market-like and entrepreneurial” (1), and principals setting salary for teachers “like any other employer” (4) …
(It’s a bloody good article and well worth the read.)
A number of petitions, rallies, and so on are being planned in support of Christchurch and, in particular, its education system. I’m sharing this one, and will add in any others as and when they pop up, so keep your eyes peeled.
New Zealand was the first nation to win the vote for ALL citizens, and that movement was led by Kate Sheppard and a small group of women and men from Canterbury. Let’s ensure that we renew that great democratic legacy for children.
Since the earthquakes in Christchurch we have seen democratic decision making swept aside in three really important ways.
1. First the government has taken real decision making power away from our elected city council and replaced it with an unelected government with no plan in sight for how they will transition back to elected decision making. Even if we vote for city councilors next year they have no real power over any important local decisions. We may not have all agreed with the city council, but it was our council!
2. Second, without warning the government suddenly suspended the right of citizens to vote for a Regional Council (ECAN) which makes the decisions about our water, air quality, and public transport for 5 years. This is simply unjustifiable. The government has appointed commissioners who they argue have done a good job but if so now the Commissioners should stand for election and gain a public mandate.
3. Third, the government has announced a sweeping array of changes to our local schools including closures and mergers. Some of the plans maybe good, but the grounds for other changes are less clear. Long term this represents a major change to the way we make decisions in locally elected school boards. Nor is it clear why we’d need new ‘charter’ schools, when we already have community schools we call “Tomorrow’s schools”. Our schools are the heart of our children and our community recovery, we need to take time and make change in small steps not a great rush.
To recover from disaster you have to take people with you.
Source: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Vote_Canterbury_Kids/?cJcZdbb (retrieved 17.9.12 at 17.55)