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)



Systematic betrayal of our state and integrated school system

Government supported policies and legislation clearly signal the value placed on New Zealand's state and integrated school system says PPTA President Angela Roberts.

Government backed winners

The Ministry of Education has some very powerful words at the bottom of its communications, including: "We back ourselves and others to win Ka manawanui ki a mātou, me ētahi ake kia wikitoria."

Given some of the current policies and legislation that this government supports, I imagine that this is a very difficult commitment to meet. I am very curious about who the ministry is referring to when it talks about "ourselves" and "others" because it certainly doesn’t appear to be those of us working in the New Zealand state and integrated school system. There are policies that do give clear signals about who it is exactly that the government is enabling the ministry to back.

Aspire Scholarships - government backed private education

Let us start with the Aspire Scholarship. Almost $4m is budgeted each year to provide up to $16,500 for up to 250 students from low income families to attend a private school. This is “intended to achieve the provision of opportunities for private education to those who would otherwise not have access”. That sounds like a ministry that believes that the best chance that you can give a student, especially someone from a low-income family, is to help them to escape the state system altogether. So it isn’t the local state secondary school that the government is backing.

Charter schools and free market choice

Ditto with the charter school policy. Instead of backing the state system by working with the profession, schools, kura and their communities to collaboratively improve our ability to support our most vulnerable students, they have backed the free market, choice, competition and the profit motive. The winners out for this zero sum game are the sponsors, who return a profit (or a farm) the charter school managers with their inflated salaries and the few students lucky enough to find themselves in a class with 14 other students. The losers are all the other schools and students and the long-suffering taxpayer.