Recent PPTA press/media releases.

Link to PPTA webpage Posters and archived releases


Minister Parata loses her COOL

24 August 2016 

Education Minister Hekia Parata has started ducking for cover and making policy on the fly whilst trying to justify her new privatised education model, says the PPTA.

“In Parliament yesterday, the minister responded to widespread criticism of her ill-conceived Communities of Online Learning (COOL) plan by making things up.” says PPTA junior vice-president Jack Boyle, “She stated in the House that there will be a restriction on the enrolment of students for whom there is a high risk of disengagement in an online environment.”

“That will be news to the Ministry of Education, who made the exact opposite statement in the regulatory impact statement on the Bill when it said the intention was to enable ‘any student to enrol at a COOL’.”


Bad acronym, worse idea: online publicly funded private schools a disaster in the making

 23 August 2016

The Minister of Education’s announcement today that Communities of online learning (Cools) will be created to allow corporate entities to enter the education “market” is nothing but blatant privatisation, says the PPTA.

“Learning online is already here, ask any parent with children at school.” says PPTA President Angela Roberts, ‘What this does is open up a market for any provider to get public funding to offer online education, in competition with public schools.”

“Schools already have many ways of blending face-to-face with online learning. There will be no new opportunities created for our rangatahi with this change. The only benefit will be for business.”

“Coming at the same time that the funding review is proposing a standardised per-child amount being provided in a cash sum to schools, the proposal for ‘Cools’ sets up the possibility of student vouchers being used to fund private online schools.”

“There are two wildly incorrect assumptions that underpin this idea,” says Angela Roberts. “One is that online learning can substitute for face-to-face, and the other is that a more competitive market in education is going to lead to better results. Both of these fly in the face of all the evidence.”

“This policy would put New Zealand in the bracket of countries with the most free-market education systems in the world and similar to some US states. I don’t think this is what New Zealand parents want for their children.”


For further comment please contact PPTA president Angela Roberts 021 806 337

Educators join forces for better funding for learning

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Educators from early childhood to secondary schooling are uniting to respond to the government’s latest funding proposal, saying it could result in fewer teachers and larger class sizes.

The government has also refused to explore any increase in funding for education.

PPTA and NZEI Te Riu Roa today announced they are holding combined meetings of their 60,000 members in September. The meetings are to plan a response to the government’s "global funding" proposal, which is effectively a return to the failed bulk funding experiment of the 1990s.

The education unions have never before undertaken joint meetings of this scale, involving principals, teachers and support staff from ECE to secondary. The government's renewed attempt to propose bulk funding would mean all staffing and school operational funding would be delivered to schools on a per-student basis in the form of cash and “credits” for staffing.

This would mean parents on Boards would have to make trade offs between the number of teachers they employ and other non-teaching costs of running a school. This would incentivise:

• Fewer teachers and larger class sizes

• The loss of guaranteed minimum teacher staffing for specific year levels such as new entrants and senior secondary classes

• Increased casualisation of teacher jobs which could undermine quality of teaching

• Further downwards pressure on support staff hours and pay, which is already bulk funded through schools’ operational grants

• Removal of the government’s responsibility for issues such as class size and curriculum breadth

• Removal of certainty about increases in funding to keep up with cost increases or population growth.


Dedicated careers advice for students welcome

26 July 2016

Dedicated careers guidance for all secondary school students would have a big impact on New Zealand’s future, says PPTA president Angela Roberts.

The association welcomes plans by the Labour Party to ensure all high schools have access to professional careers advisory staff, Roberts said.

“PPTA has called for targeted staffing allowances for careers advisors in the past and it looks like that is what Labour is offering with this policy.”

It was important to have a careers advisor who was a trained teacher with the experience and skills to work with young adults, she said.

“What is important is that these people are able to have the tools to be able to tailor the right opportunity to the right student at the right time. It’s not a shortage of information – it’s about people who can recognise the needs of the students and link them up with the information they need,” she said.


Inaccurate charter school media reports

PPTA is in the process of addressing a number of inaccuracies in the media this week about the association’s refusal to work with a Whangarei charter school.

Reports on both One News and the New Zealand Herald contained three significant errors that PPTA is taking action on.

Firstly, the boycott action at Kamo High School was not aimed at students of the Whangarei charter school, but was about an offer that the school made to allow a teacher from the charter school to use a fume cupboard in Kamo’s science lab after school hours. The communication from the principal makes it clear that this was only ever an offer to let one teacher use the facilities.

Secondly, the principal of Kamo High School claimed in her letter to Minister Parata that the “PPTA executive” arrived unannounced for a meeting at the school. This is false. The principal was told several days in advance that the PPTA president was coming to Kamo High School to meet with the branch. This happens regularly all around the country, and a meeting with her was requested, which she rejected.

Thirdly, ACT MP David Seymour claimed in the media that the branch meeting was a ‘stop work meeting’. The meeting with the PPTA president was a lunch time meeting attended by a significant proportion of the branch, in their own time and without any disruption to school activities. 



Minister undermines State Sector Act

25 May 2016 

The education minister is undermining the principles of integrity and honesty in teacher appointments by interfering with a legal decision designed to avoid cronyism.

Today Hekia Parata introduced a supplementary order paper (SOP) to the Education Legislation Bill attempting to water down State Sector Act requirements that all school appointments be made openly, transparently and on merit.

This is despite a legal case taken by PPTA resulting in an agreement between Teach First NZ, Auckland University, the Ministry of Education and the union to work together to uphold the act.

“Our understanding is there has been a government SOP introduced, without consultation and with indecent haste, which would create a separate employment process for student teachers,” PPTA general secretary Michael Stevenson said.

The SOP had been introduced late in the piece, with no opportunity for public submissions, he said.