Recent PPTA press/media releases.

Link to PPTA webpage Posters and archived releases

PPTA annual conference - finding answers; fighting back

1 October, 2013

PPTA members will be exploring solutions to threats "aimed squarely at the heart of public education" during the association's annual conference this week.

In a speech titled 'Joining the dots - repelling threats to public education and attacks on workers' rights' president Angela Roberts spoke of the attacks schools have already had to face.

"When we met 12 months ago the first Novopay payslips were starting to trickle through, schools were still hung-over from the class size debacle and the association was busy exposing charter schools lies," she said.


We will fight charter schools every step of the way

17 September 2013

PPTA plans to fight the establishment of the newly announced charter schools every step of the way, with a paper heading to annual conference exploring how they will do it.

PPTA junior vice president Hazel McIntosh said today marked the beginning of a terrible experiment on New Zealand's children that must be stopped in its tracks.

The association plans to fight for the abolition of the charter school legislation and the paper will explore a number of options including  instructing members to refrain from all professional, sporting and cultural contact with the schools and their sponsors and advising them not to apply for positions in them.

It also demands that the $19 million set aside for charter schools be returned to the state sector to fund programmes which are demonstrated to raise achievement for at risk students.

"The evidence of just how destructive charter schools will be to our public education system is overwhelming. It beggars belief that we would introduce them here in the face of all the damage they have done to vulnerable students in communities overseas," McIntosh said.


Minister 'blacks out' what's really happening with Novopay

4 September 2013

Tomorrow marks a black day for teachers nationwide, with the pay period that begins a second year of Novopay woes.

Claims by minister responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce that most staff were now getting paid properly were "deeply disingenuous," PPTA president Angela Roberts said.

In an August media release Joyce states "the backlog of 12,000 pay instructions has been cleared" - something Roberts insists is not the case.

"I can assure you, that backlog of issues is most definitely not clear," she said.


$200 million wasted on inadequate professional development

12 July 2013

The government is spending $200 million a year on woefully inadequate teacher professional learning and development (PLD) that does not help lift student achievement.

A report based on two separate PPTA surveys shows both teachers and school leaders agree current PLD provision is inadequate, piecemeal and incoherent - raising serious questions as to whether this money is being well-spent.

The surveys were conducted in May this year after noise in the sector over the current PLD provision had grown to an unbearable level, PPTA president Angela Roberts said.  

"There is clearly a need to ensure the professional learning that happens in schools challenges teachers to work differently with students to raise their achievement, but 44% of teachers said that only happened sometimes with the current provision of PLD.

"Visiting international experts have reiterated the importance of teacher professional development in improving equity of student achievement. This is an issue that needs the urgent attention of the government," she said.

One of the biggest concerns voiced by both teachers and school leaders was the lack of local provision for PLD, Roberts said.

The current contestable contracts tended to be centred on particular providers, often a long way from where the PLD must be delivered, dismantling a trusted model of ongoing local support.

"The closeness to the contract directly influences the quality of PLD. If you are in Taranaki, Wainuiomata or Gisborne you will have worse PLD opportunities than in Auckland or Hamilton," she said.


Research reveals 1 in 5 failure claim inaccurate and simplistic

8 July 2013

"One in five students is failing" is a catch cry used so often that PPTA commissioned research to get to the bottom of it.

The results, presented by researchers Liz Gordon and Brian Easton today, reveal the simplistic nature of the claim and the complex issues being ignored every time it is made.

PPTA president Angela Roberts said the overlapping issues of ethnicity, gender and socio-economic status were ignored when simplistic figures such "˜1 in 5' or "˜20% of students are failing' were bandied about.

"The message of there being a crisis in schooling is being used to drive through radical policies, but there is not a crisis. There are challenges and we need to deal with these by recognising the complexity of the issues," she said.

The government's practice of separating out a single factor "“ such as ethnicity "“ and comparing one sub-group to other whole populations was "statistically grossly misleading" and failed to recognise many of the factors contributing to underachievement, Roberts said.

The closest to the politically popular 20% figure the researchers were able to find was that 14.3% of students failed to achieve proficiency level 2 on PISA reading "“ and a closer examination of this group showed that 74% were male and that socio-economic factors such as parental income and the number of books in the home were clearly contributing issues.


Voters say no to unregistered teachers and private profiteering "“ PPTA survey

14 May 2013

An overwhelming number of respondents to a new survey on charter schools do not want unregistered teachers and private profiteering in taxpayer-funded schools.

PPTA commissioned a survey this week "“ conducted by MMReasearch "“ of 600 New Zealand voters and the results released today give a clear picture of public concerns, president Angela Roberts said.
82% of respondents said they did not think charter schools should be allowed to employ untrained and unregistered teachers, while 71% did not want private owners making a profit from taxpayer-funded education.

"This clearly shows the charter schools experiment is against the wishes of the New Zealand public. It is nothing but a sop to the Banks/Isaac 1% party" she said.

With 2100 of the 2193 submissions to the Education and Science Select Committee opposed to the creation of charter schools it appears the government is quite prepared to steamroll the democratic process, Roberts says.

"With the voice of the public so blatantly ignored it is vital to assure protections are put in place."


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