Media

Recent PPTA press/media releases.

Link to PPTA webpage Posters and archived releases

 

At least 10 percent more funding needed to support young people at risk

7 September 2016

Secondary teachers around the country are calling for extra funding for schools who teach at risk students.

“It is not tolerable to accept that some students will fail at school due to circumstances beyond their control,” PPTA president Angela Roberts said.

“Equity funding is one way we can compensate for some of those factors, such as low socio economic status and overcrowded and substandard housing,” she said.

“We have been looking at examples from the Netherlands and the USA that show a marked improvement in achievement by disadvantaged students after extra funding was allocated to those schools. The USA and Dutch examples of equity funding changes show that extra teaching staff are some of the most important resources that schools use to compensate for disadvantage,” Roberts said.

“In New Zealand, an equity funding approach that includes funding specifically for extra teaching and support staff, as well as operational funding is most likely to lift achievement.” Roberts said. “The PPTA believes the government should take up our wero and prioritise this approach.”

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New charter schools create inequity and waste public money

30 August 2016


The announcement today by the Under-Secretary to the Minister of Education that two new charter schools are to open is yet another barrier to equality says the PPTA. The schools will open in Hamilton and Napier in 2017.

“Not only do charter schools lack any of the financial, social and educational accountabilities required of state schools, they actually increase inequality,” says PPTA Hamilton executive representative, Vinnie Monga.

“At this year’s US National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) conference, members voted for a moratorium on charter schools,* saying they have ‘contributed to the increased segregation rather than diverse integration of our public school system’; and they would know, they have had charter schools in the US for 25 years,” she says.

Julian Lumbreras, PPTA Hawkes Bay regional chair says, “We feel like this has gone on long enough. Charter schools don’t work, and they don’t belong in New Zealand. We question the motive behind opening more before any genuine evaluation of the policy has taken place. This is symptomatic of the government’s evidence-free education plan.”

“The public school system in our country is excellent, if under-funded. Quality teaching and learning for each young person is at the heart of everything we do. We strive for the very best future for students. Our schools are innovative and collaborative.”

“Public education is what we need in this country, not more publically-funded privately-run unaccountable charter schools.” Lumbreras says.

 

For further comment please contact Vinnie Monga and/or Julian Lumbreras.

 

PPTA Hamilton executive representative, Vinnie Monga, 029 120 3861
PPTA Hawkes Bay regional chair, Julian Lumbreras, 027 470 9461

 

*weblink NAACP members call for ban on privately managed charter schools

 

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’.”

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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.

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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.

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