Recent PPTA press/media releases.

Link to PPTA webpage Posters and archived releases

Teaching profession steps up to new curriculum

18 May 2009

The world-leading new New Zealand curriculum will get a boost this week with 14,000 secondary teachers beginning a series of workshops around the country.

The series of "curriculum support days" kicks off in Nelson today jointly organised by PPTA and the New Zealand Secondary Principals' Council.

State shouldn't bail out private schools

17 February 2009

State schools struggling with an under-funded operations grant, and the parents who are picking up the shortfall, will be furious if the government starts bailing out elite private schools.  

PPTA urges government not to play 'blame game'

2 February 2009

PPTA president Kate Gainsford is pleased education minister Anne Tolley is taking the issue of struggling schools seriously, but cautions against a "˜blame and shame' mentality.

The growing number of school boards being replaced by commissioners illustrates PPTA's concerns about the Tomorrow's Schools system, she said.

"That more and more schools are running into financial and management difficulties shows the problem is systemic.
"The fact is the Tomorrow's Schools structure has set up some schools to fail and that's not good enough for New Zealand students.
"Every parent should be able to send their child to their local school confident that the system will ensure they are getting a decent education, but as we are discovering, Tomorrow's Schools leaves some communities high and dry. It is easy to blame the boards, parents, teachers, even the students themselves, but much harder to fix the structural problem," she said.

Schools' financial troubles signal need for system review

17 December 2008

The financial crisis at Marlborough Boys' College is a stark illustration of the need to seriously re-examine New Zealand's schooling system.

PPTA welcomes delay of NCEA review

16 December 2008

PPTA congratulates education minister Anne Tolley for listening to the profession's concerns over the tight time-frame of the NCEA standards review.

Staffing needed to help high risk students

23 September 2008

Greater Wellington teachers are becoming frustrated by the government's failure to provide adequate staffing to help high risk students.

As they continue to deal with the behaviour of severely disruptive pupils, they need more tangible support from the government if they are to limit the impact of this on all students, PPTA Hutt Valley regional executive member Martin Henry says.

A recent New Zealand Council for Education Research (NZCER) survey of teachers at the 28 state and integrated schools in greater Wellington, showed just over half felt severe behaviour limited the activities they would try with their classes. Other students therefore suffered directly and indirectly from the disruptive behaviour of high-risk students.

Sixty-one percent said they had learnt new approaches to deal with the behaviour of disruptive students, 48% saying it had been hard work but rewarding to see some gains.

The combined Hutt Valley/Wellington regions of the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) are presenting a paper to its annual conference at the end of this month. It calls for an investigation into staffing models that adequately reflect the realities teachers are experiencing in their classrooms, Henry says.

"Resourcing is required to relieve the pressure these students create, to produce better classes for them and for the students and teachers affected," he said.

The NZCER survey shows 12% of boys, 5% of girls and 9% of all students in all classes taught by the responding teachers, exhibited severely disruptive behaviour. In decile 1-4 schools the rates were higher, ranging between 13%-15%. Years 9 and 10 contained the highest proportion of severely disruptive pupils at 12%.

Although the majority of teachers report on the satisfactory advice and support of  their colleagues and the back up from school management, the impact of severely disruptive student behaviour on teachers personally is significant.

-    41% said that it made them anxious or wary
-    28% said their general health was poorer
-    32% said that it undermined their confidence
-    9% said they were frightened of students with severe behaviour

12% of responding teachers reported experiencing severely disruptive behaviour often, and a further 28% sometimes. Despite this, teachers are taking a professional approach and can meet the challenge, but need a transparent formula, as the Hutt Valley/Wellington region paper points out, to increase the options schools have to work with these disruptive students.

(Download the Preliminary report: Incidence of severe behaviour in Hutt Valley and Greater Wellington schools: preliminary findings [118kb PDF] from the NZCER website)


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