Recent PPTA press/media releases.

Link to PPTA webpage Posters and archived releases

Flawed roll predictions signal 'shambolic' start to school year

"overflowing classrooms and timetable chaos"

February 12, 2010


Schools face overflowing classrooms and timetable chaos because of inaccurate roll predictions made by the Ministry of Education.

"The year has barely begun and many secondary schools are scrambling for teachers because the ministry underestimated the number of students returning to school," PPTA president Kate Gainsford said.

"It is incredibly disruptive at a time of the year when students need to be quickly settling into their programmes of work," she said.

Classes of 30 plus - with some closer to 40 - in NCEA subjects mean students have had a less than ideal start to their year.

More than 400 teachers were made redundant at the end of last year because schools' predictions were ignored and replaced with inaccurate estimates by the ministry.

Investment in education critical for economy

"Invest more in education, not less"

education apple

February 5, 2010

With unemployment statistics the highest they have been in a decade it is critical to invest more in education, not less, PPTA president Kate Gainsford says.

Gainsford was particularly disappointed in comments made that the 7.3% unemployment figure stemmed from poor teaching.

"If high unemployment was the result of poor teaching then why aren't teachers given the credit when unemployment levels are down? There are many more factors in play here.

"This is not a proper position to take if there is a genuine interest to address underachievement or unemployment.

"More investment in education across all sectors of society is the only way to achieve sustainable economic growth," she said.

PPTA releases position on National Standards

"A child is more than a test score."

January 28, 2010

PPTA is releasing a paper today in a bid to inform debate on National Standards and steer the country away from "˜assessment mania.'

The paper looks at the dangers of National's standards in a country that "already over-assesses," PPTA president Kate Gainsford said.

"Excessive monitoring does not improve teaching and learning," she said.

Behaviour action plan disappoints

Little new to offer secondary students

8 December 2009

Details of the long-heralded Behaviour Action Plan were released last night, with little new to offer secondary students, says PPTA president, Kate Gainsford.

"While we knew it was always going to be difficult for the Ministry of Education (MOE) to shape something comprehensive out of a nil budget, it is disappointing that - having entered into the process in good faith - there is so little progress to report to our members."

Special education funding is being reshuffled to fund the action plan initiatives "“ most of which will target early childhood and students in their first years of primary schooling, Kate said

"Early intervention is proven to be cost-effective, as is intervention early in the life of the problem, but some problems have their onset only with adolescence, she said.

"We are left wondering what might become of the students this plan seems to have left in the "˜too hard' basket."

In the same year that the MOE advised government to slash support for alternative education, there seemed to be nothing in the plan to target effective intervention for the most challenging five percent of teens in schools, she said.

National standards threaten NCEA

National standards threaten NCEANCEA graphic

October 23, 2009

The minister of education's insistence on a limited three R's focus for the so-called "national standards" will jeopardise students' achievement in NCEA, PPTA president Kate Gainsford says.

International evidence shows that numeracy and literacy skills are best developed using targeted teaching strategies across a range of subjects "“ including Technology and the arts.

Despite this, Anne Tolley plans to deny support for these subjects in primary and junior secondary schools "“ at the risk of sending students into year 11 ill-prepared for NCEA.

Cost of ignoring troubled youth too high

Cost of ignoring troubled youth too high

29 September 2009

At least five percent of the students in our schools need specialist support that teachers aren't trained to provide, PPTA executive member Ana Rees said.

Student behaviour issues have a significant impact on teacher and student wellbeing she said - during the opening speech for a paper on student behaviour at PPTA's annual conference.

The paper - 80,15,5 percent: What we know, what they need - was developed by a working group that was proposed at the 2008 annual conference and influenced by the Hutt Valley, Wairarapa and Wellington regions. .  

The Taumata Whanonga behaviour summit held in March this year was also one of the 2008 conference recommendations. The summit acknowledged that schools were not solely responsible for the wellbeing of students.  

"Their wellbeing is a community concern, of which we are one part… the earlier we can offer specialist support for kids and families with behaviour issues, the better their life chances and the lower the burden on the taxpayer," she said.

Share this page: