Media

Recent PPTA press/media releases.

Link to PPTA webpage Posters and archived releases

Charter school authorisation board should be sacked

Grey and white students run down school picture

28 January 2016     

A cohort of students is now collateral damage due to the incompetence of the charter school authorisation board, says PPTA president Angela Roberts.

Today’s termination of Whangaruru’s Te Pūmanawa o te Wairua charter school agreement was predicted two years ago. As well as the range of concerns pointed out by PPTA, the Ministry of Education had warned the authorisation board of the potential fragility of the school, Roberts said.

Those concerns were rebranded as ‘challenges’ in Education Minister Hekia Parata’s media release today. They included;
•    heavy reliance on third parties to take it forward
•    lack of internal capability
•    the difficulty of attracting suitably qualified teaching staff to Whangaruru; and
•    concerns over whether a viable student base exists for the kura

“These are not ‘challenges’. They were pointed out a long time ago.”

“The authorisation board went blithely on with the support of both the education minister and ACT leader David Seymour. It was negligent use of power,” Roberts said.

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Valuing teachers

Secondary teachers' collective agreement ratified

29 October 2015

PPTA members have ratified their new Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement (STCA).

The settlement is effective immediately and includes a 2% salary increase each year for two years and an average of 2.5% for a third.

The Ministry of Education has also agreed to pay members’ Education Council practising certificate fees for three years, increase the number of secondary sabbaticals, increase some allowances and resolve a longstanding coverage issue.

None of the ministry’s claims to reduce conditions were accepted.

The ministry had also committed to a serious investigation into improving working conditions for teachers, PPTA president Angela Roberts said.

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Implacable opposition to charter schools continues


30 September 2015

PPTA members stand against charter schools was reinforced this afternoon in an update on the association’s fight against the unwelcome experiment.

In his presentation of the charter schools paper PPTA executive member Austen Pageau described the decision made by the association in 2013 to stand in opposition to charter schools as ‘implacable’.

It was not a decision that was made lightly and followed much robust debate.
“It was a position we took to protect our profession and the public good which is public education,” he said.

Charter schools were an American import and American arguments were being used to justify their inclusion in the New Zealand system, Pageau said.

“We don’t have American public schools. I have been to American public schools, I’ve taught in New Zealand schools. They are apples and oranges.”

Charter schools claimed to be a solution to a “one size fits all public system” that didn’t actually exist, Pageau said.

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Middle leadership in crisis

30 September 2015    

Heading a department, teaching in a classroom and caring for stressed students and teachers is just a small part of a day’s work for middle leaders in schools.

Middle managers play a vital role in curriculum delivery at secondary schools but the pressure is building with increasing workload demands (particularly around NCEA) compromising this.

Following a resolution at last year’s PPTA annual conference the association has formed a taskforce to tackle these issues – focusing on contribution to achievement, remuneration, responsibilities and job size.

The taskforce reported back to conference this year, in the lead up to a full paper that will be produced at the 2016 annual conference as part of a major examination of teacher workload.

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Virulent teacher education market tough on schools

29 September 2015  

New models of initial teacher education (ITE) are putting increasing demands on schools.

In a bid to address this PPTA’s executive, in consultation with the association’s Otago region, has put together a paper for PPTA’s annual conference to discuss this afternoon.

The Initial teacher education in change: But is it for the better? paper grew from a conference resolution put forward by the Otago region last year. It examines the impact of these models, particularly on the teachers and schools expected to host their students.

PPTA members will consider their effect on teacher workload and problems with new funding models, seeking ways for partnerships between schools and teacher education providers to be better managed and teachers’ contributions recognised.

An increasingly virulent market in ITE grew from the removal of government regulations in 1990, with new institutions chasing students to fill places created.

“Competition of this kind has never been known to deliver improved quality, and this was certainly true for secondary ITE,” PPTA president Angela Roberts said.

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