Media

Recent PPTA press/media releases.

Link to PPTA webpage Posters and archived releases

Pink shirts and new guidelines – schools take a stand against bullying

21 May 2014

Schools will be turning pink this Friday to take a stand against bullying – and now they have a new set of guidelines to back them up.

The Pink Shirt Day bullying awareness campaign will brighten up schools and workplaces on Friday 23 May with the message “Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying.”

At the same time the Bullying Prevention Advisory Group (BPAG) is releasing a practical guide to support principals, teachers, staff and parents to address bullying in schools.

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Teaching profession steps up – says no to EDUCANZ

7 May 2014

Hundreds of passionate secondary teachers will make time this month to ensure the government hears the voice of the profession.

Starting today submissions will be heard against the Education Amendment Bill (No 2) after teachers at paid union meetings (PUMs) throughout the country gave it a resounding no.

Not only did submissions against the bill - which threatens to undermine the teaching profession - pour in after the PUMs but the majority of teachers chose to present theirs to the Education and Science select committee in person.

PPTA president Angela Roberts, who will be presenting the association’s own submission in Wellington this morning said the response showed how deeply concerned members were about their profession.

“Those that can’t attend a hearing in person will be calling in from their schools or taking part in video conferences,” she said.

The bill dismantles the New Zealand Teachers Council and replaces it with a new body – the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (EDUCANZ).

EDUCANZ has a range of overly ambitious functions that stray into territory outside the domain of a registration body.

PPTA was supportive of the bill’s proposals to strengthen the discipline and competence functions of the council but felt these were being threatened by its more wide-ranging plans, Roberts said.

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Novopay - Time for Joyce to put his money where his mouth is

25 March 2014

In March 2013 minister for Novopay Steven Joyce dropped money into schools to tide them over while their bungled pay system was being fixed.

More than a year later, according to a PPTA survey, the system is still impacting on teachers’ lives at an unacceptable level.

PPTA president Angela Roberts challenged Joyce to put his money where his mouth is.

“If this mess is as good as it gets – and that’s definitely not good enough- then it is time for an audit of the real cost burden this private company (Talent2) has put on schools.

“If it is still unstable then the government should be providing another cash injection to help schools survive,” she said.

Between 27 February and 7 March PPTA surveyed members on the impacts of the school payroll failures.

The survey, which was answered by 2454 members from 479 different schools, revealed that 25% of respondents had problems with their pay, with 22.8% being paid incorrectly.

“This means the scale of the problem is still large, and much larger than the figures being quoted by government,” Roberts said.

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Paid union meetings called over EDUCANZ attack on profession


PPTA members will be holding paid union meetings (PUMs) next month as preparation for making submissions on legislation that attacks the teaching profession.

The Education Amendment Bill (No 2), which the government clearly intends to push through before the election, establishes a new professional body for teachers - the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (EDUCANZ).

EDUCANZ, which is set to replace the current New Zealand Teachers Council (NZTC), purports to be about “raising the status of the profession” but the reality is very different, PPTA president Angela Roberts says.

“It’s clear from the bill that the intention isn’t so much to ‘raise the status of teaching’ as to remove professional autonomy and bring teachers firmly under the control of politicians,” she said.

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Collaborative strategy good news for schools

23 January 2014

Government plans to put resources into teaching and learning rather than finance and administration are being greeted with optimism by PPTA.

President Angela Roberts said Prime Minister John Key’s announcement that $359 million would be invested in teaching and school leadership over the next four years was a positive one.

She praised his commitment to ““support a culture of collaboration within and across schools” and said the creation of principal and teacher positions to provide leadership and support across communities of schools marked the beginning of a collaborative approach long sought by PPTA.

“Enabling schools to support each-other rather than compete against each-other is a good response to a problem that has bedeviled our education system since the introduction of Tomorrow’s Schools,” Roberts said.

Acknowledging that this required resources to sustain was also a positive step, she said.
Roberts praised the strategy’s focus on providing time for principals and teachers to share their resources instead of dangling a financial carrot.

“It’s not just about rewarding individuals it is about providing them with time and enabling them to share what they know to support their colleagues across schools – and that rewards everyone.”

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Government ignores international advice and PISA rankings drop

4 December 2013

The government knew back in 2009 what it would take to keep New Zealand on an educational footing with the rest of the world, but chose to ignore international advice.

It is no real surprise then, that three years later, the country’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) achievement and equity rankings have dropped, PPTA president Angela Roberts says.

It’s often overlooked that PISA is not just a league table, but it also provides policy advice on what the best countries do, Roberts said.

OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) advice issued after the 2009 PISA results focused on the importance of addressing socio-economic inequality in schools.

The government instead had chosen to focus on a number of initiatives that were based on ideology rather than evidence – stripping funding from the public schooling system and syphoning it into private projects, Roberts said.

The government had taken a narrow focus on numbers and league tables rather than addressing inequality, she said

“It's fascinating that this government seems pretty obsessed with the results, but doesn't pay any attention to the policy advice,” she said.

“OECD advice shows countries with successful education systems address inequality, invest in teachers and have stability in school funding. In New Zealand we have $10 million a year stripped from schools through the quarterly funding system, large class sizes and 270,000 of our young people living in poverty.

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