PPTA News PPTA News: the magazine of New Zealand secondary teachers.

Link to PPTA webpage PPTA News archive

Approximately 18,000 copies of PPTA News are distributed free to secondary and area schools and other institutions.

Not all the opinions expressed within PPTA News reflect those of the PPTA.

Enquiries should be addressed to: The Editor, PPTA News, PO Box 2119, Wellington, New Zealand. Phone: 04 3849964; Fax: 04 3828763; Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PPTA News June 2016

The June 2016 issue of PPTA News: the magazine of New Zealand secondary teachers.

PPTA News v.37 (4) June 2016

pptanews coverJune2016smTable of contents:

Pragmatic problem-solver will be missed - President's viewpoint p.3;
Academic mentoring at Lytton High School p.4;
Kaiapoi High School traffic issues p.6;
Should New Zealand history be compulsory (Debate) p.7;
Familiar faces, new roles (PPTA's new deputy general secretary and junior vice president) p.8;
Marking Matariki (Celebrating Maori New Year in schools) p.9;
Much needed support for special needs coordinators (TRCC) p.10;
Pasifika fono p.11;
Industrial update p.10;
Education and citizenship - a debate we must have (Guest blog) p.13;
Media review - Try Revolution p.14;
Letter - Marlborough college co-location - the girls' school's point of view p.14.
What's the deal with being fixed term? (Field Officer advice) p.15.


PPTA News May 2016

pptanews-may2016-cover100The May 2016 issue of PPTA News: the magazine of New Zealand secondary teachers

PPTA News v.37 (3) May 2016 

Table of contents:

Systematic betrayal - President's viewpoint p.3;
Paid parental leave p.4;
PPTA helps students in Thai border region p.4;
PPTA opposes call t deny principals voting rights p.5;
Members encouraged to respond to ministry's census p.5;
Guidance counsellors key to positive outcomes p.6;
NZ unions represented at UN Commission on the Status of Women p.7;
Asia-Pasific activism p.8;
How best to dress for success? (student uniforms) p.9;
PPTA presents "safer schools" workshop at humanrights conference p.10;
A week-long look at bullying p.11;
Plan for Blenheim colleges doesn't add up p.12;
Letter - I am most seriously displeased ... with the TELA laptop scheme p.13;
When leave without pay (LWOP) affects holiday pay (Field Officers Advice) p.14.


Children's Action Plan: Buzzwords and flimsy research mar process

Concerns over bad management, poor process and unrealistic expectations have led PPTA to pull out of two independent advisory groups on the government's plan to identify and protect vulnerable children.
classroom blurred grey blue
If the Children's Action Plan continues the way it is going everyone in a school, from the receptionist to the principal, will have 44 pages of unrealistic standards thrust between them and vulnerable students.

PPTA president Angela Roberts said the association had taken part in consultation on the plan as an independent voice, but had lost confidence in the process.

PPTA joined the Framework Design Team, which was the product of the Identifying and Protecting Vulnerable Children paper released by government a couple of years ago. The team was charged with identifying core competencies for people who work with children in the public sector.

PPTA reluctantly withdrew citing a serious lack of confidence in the process and its outcomes for vulnerable children.

Unrealistic standards would lead to more paperwork and less time for staff to respond to the needs of vulnerable children, she said.


PPTA News April 2016

The April 2016 issue of PPTA News: the magazine of New Zealand secondary teachers


PPTA News v.37 (2) April 2016


icon PPTA News April 2016 (volume 37 no.2) (2.16 MB)


Table of contents:

Let's try learner-centred PLD for teachers - President's viewpoint p.3;
Reward for long hours of toil (Guy Allan Branch Activism Award presented to Claire Couch) p.4;
"Constancy and absolute belief" contribute to regional service award (PPTA service award - Radne Adern) p.4;
Obituary: Gay Simpkin 1942 - 2016 p.5;
Members encouraged to respond to ministry's census p.5;
Pasifika women unionists visit NZ to extend focus (Council of Pacific Education) p.6;
Region building momentum (East Coast) p.7;
JVP by-election: Candidates' personal statements p.8;
Members "buzzing" after activists workshops (Issues and Organising seminar) p.10;
Better provision for due diligence (Health and Safety) p.11; (icon Better provision for due diligence: Health and Safety at Work Act pdf)
Cutting edge or chaos? Modern learning environments (debate Michael Tarry and Chris Abercrombie) p.12;
Future focus too caught up in tech - Michael Harvey p.13;
When "form-time" becomes contact time  (Field Officer advice) p.14;
Letter - Knocking teachers for no good reason affects our mental health p.14.


Education Council considers shocking headline 'balanced'

PPTA Auckland Eastern Ward executive member Lawrence Mikkelsen speeaks to the PPTA News (the magazine of NZ secondary teachers) regarding the Education Council's apparent lack of concern over the stereotyping and stigmatisation of teachers living with mental health issues.

How does this 'raise the status of the profession'? PPTAnewsCoverFeb2016

‘Mentally Ill Teachers Investigated by Watchdog’ was the misleading newspaper headline that shocked teachers late last year.

As someone who had lived with depression for many years, PPTA Auckland Eastern Ward executive member Lawrence Mikkelsen was appalled.

He decided to approach the newly formed Education Council – an organisation charged with “raising the status of the profession” for a response and was deeply disappointed.


PPTA News Feb / Mar 2016

The February / March 2016 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).

PPTA News v.37 (1) February/March 2016

icon PPTA News February / March 2016 (volume 37 no.1) (2.11 MB)

Table of contents:

We need you activists - President's viewpoint p.3;
Celebrating 70 years of shared teaching expertise (Teachers’ Refresher Course
Committee (TRCC)) p.4;
Obituary: Ida Gaskin 1921 - 2016 p.5;
Charter school board should be sacked p.6;
Fears over tertiary charter schools p.6;
Education Council's "lack of action" disappoints (Mental health) p.8;
Young minds hold the key (Mental health) p.9;
Teacher certification put beyond reach p.10;
Continuing negotiations p.11;
Book review: Sexual Cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand p.12;
Reform and reaffirming diversity p.13;
Beginning teachers’ rights  (Field Officer advice) p.14.


PPTA News Nov-Dec 2015

The November / December 2015 issue of PPTA News: the newsletter of the New Zealand Post PPTA News Nov-Dec 2015 coverPrimary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA).

PPTA News v.36 (9) Nov/Dec 2015

Table of contents:

2016: preparing for working parties and pantomimes - President's viewpoint p.3;
For the common good (Creative commons) p.4;
Raising the age of foster care overdue p.5;
Buzzwords and flimsy research mar process (Children's Action Plan) p.6;
Picnic at parliament for pay parity p.7;
Three-year STCA ratified p.8;
Five years on and counting (Canterbury) p.10;


“Charities” shaping education policy

Massey University Institute of Education professor John O’Neill shares the latest findings of his research into who exactly is shaping education policy in New Zealand 

A select group of 'charities' influencing decision making in education

Is it right that the “top five or ten percent” have increasing levels of influence and decision making power in terms of public policy and public education? 

Massey University Institute of Education professor John O’Neill addressed this question in his presentation to PPTA’s annual conference - How charities are shaping education policy in New Zealand. 

O’Neill updated conference on the findings of a PPTA, NZEI and NZPF funded research project, looking into how influential people at the elite levels of society were shaping education policy in New Zealand – often under the guise of charity. 

“Is it right that just because you have money you are able to engage in activity that begins to significantly shape the direction and emphasis of public policy”,” he asked. 

Private and philanthropic sector blurring government responsibility for public education

There was something “seriously wrong” with the way public education policy was being advanced, O’Neill said. 

The ease of setting up an organisation for charitable purposes could encourage giving and altruism but it also meant a charity could be “a proxy or sheep’s clothing for all sorts of other activities,” O’Neill said.  

“Now we have government actively encouraging the private and the philanthropic sector to plug the gap between what it’s prepared to do and what needs to be done to provide decent public services. 

“The boundaries between public and private interest and influence are being blurred quite rapidly,” he said. 

Who decides what happens in education and for whose benefit

O’Neill examined some of the major players in the education charity game, from home grown support organisations such as KidsCan to ‘education management organisations’ such as Core and Cognition Education. 

“We now have a situation where activities will not take place unless a charity or charitable trust invests in them… and that creates pressure for public policy to move in the direction the trustees of a private charitable entity wants,” O’Neill said. 

A number of entities failed the public benefit test but because they hadn’t been scrutinised too closely were allowed to operate as charities, O Neill said.