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)



A qualified report: secondary teaching shortages

PPTA President Angela Roberts considers New Zealand's well-trained and qualified teachers, the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) and government lack of action on workforce planning.

NZ teachers highly trained, best qualified and most experienced

This month initial results from the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) were released and the minister was quick to respond with a bouquet for teachers, complimenting them for being “amongst the most highly-trained, best qualified and most experienced in the world.” I know there’s a temptation to read ‘experienced’ as a synonym for ‘old’ but I’m going to take the win.

Teacher collective agreements safeguard a trained and qualified workforce

I don’t think it’s an accident that New Zealand teachers are so well-trained and qualified. I think it’s a result of teacher unions and national collective agreements. It has been a thirty-year struggle to establish training and qualification requirements in the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreements because it is a truth widely acknowledged that, left to their own devices, employers are inclined to prefer employees to be cheap and unqualified rather than well-qualified but expensive.

Politically, governments are terrified of teacher shortages. The spectre of students being sent home because there is no one to teach them plays havoc with the popularity polls and the market solution for recruitment problems - pay more - is equally unpalatable. So the first thing our political leaders do when a teacher shortage looms is try to plug the gap with overseas recruits and the second thing they do is lower the qualification requirements. This is a situation nurses and doctors know well.

No one would be celebrating the TALIS findings today if PPTA members hadn’t held fast to the ideal of a trained and qualified secondary service.