Recent PPTA press/media releases.

Link to PPTA webpage Posters and archived releases

Fighting poverty through schools as community hubs

2 October, 2013

Equipping schools to fight poverty by making them the centre of their communities is a very real way of addressing the achievement gap between rich and poor students, says PPTA president Angela Roberts.

Around the world teachers and policy makers are grappling with the problem of raising student achievement when socio-economic status has such a powerful impact on learning.

At PPTA's annual conference today PPTA members will examine a possible answer when the paper 'Equipping schools to fight poverty: a community hub approach' is presented.

Roberts said a community hub school does what many New Zealand schools do already, but more so, and in a sustainable, coordinated and resourced way.


Teachers council overhaul a major assault on the profession

1 October, 2013

An overhaul of the New Zealand Teachers Council at the whim of the education minister could see a major assault on the teaching profession, says PPTA president Angela Roberts.

"Just as the Teachers Council was starting to get on top of its role and develop links with the wider profession, and just after it came out so strongly against the proposal to increase class sizes and cut teacher staffing, it is forced to undergo a major overhaul at the minister's whim," she said.

PPTA members are discussing the fate of the council, with the paper 'Teacher ownership or government takeover?' being presented at the association's annual conference.


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.


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