PPTA President

Image Angela Roberts PPTA president 2013-2014

News and views from PPTA president Angela Roberts.

Includes the PPTA News viewpoint and his responses to various education issues raised in the media.

(Angela began her presidency mid January 2013)



Pragmatic problem-solver will be missed

PPTA president Angela Roberts farewells outgoing Secretary for Education Peter Hughes.

The Secretary for Education, Peter Hughes, is moving on and I for one will be sorry to see him go.

When he took on the job, at the start of 2013, the ministry was in the midst of dark times. The government had tried to cut $170 million by increasing class sizes, the Novopay omnishambles rolled on, Christchurch was in uproar over the botched school closures, and the previous secretary Lesley Longstone had just left after falling out with the minister.

Confident leader

It’s been a long road back from there, and it’s a mark of Peter’s courage and confidence that he was prepared to step up for the job when everyone else was running the other way.

I admit to being one of the doubters. He had held other leadership roles in the public sector and was leading the school of government at Victoria University. “Another ideologue schooled in new public management theories of privatisation, performance pay, customers, competition and choice” I thought.

Pragmatic and systematic

I’m pleased to say I thought wrong. Peter turned out to be pragmatic, systematic and sensible. He took on the big challenges with determination not defensiveness.

The best thing was the care he took over relationships. Instead of the dismissive responses that are popular in Wellington in discussions about secondary teachers - everyone works hard; that’s what teachers are paid to do; our information doesn’t show that, Peter would take it as read that if we had a problem, he had a problem.