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Parents not teacher lobby group to set agenda

Media Release

Parents not teacher lobby group to set election agenda

The New Zealand School Trustees Association says a small group of teachers lobbying against the replacement qualification for school certificate is trying muscle in on the upcoming trustee elections.

NZSTA President Chris France says the group, which calls itself “Concerned Teachers”, wants to use parents to fight the new qualifications. However, he says, it is parents who should be setting the election agenda.

“The trustee elections are about finding parents and caregivers who will manage our schools over the next three years. It is not about taking one issue of concern to one small group of teachers and politicising the process.”

He says the lobby group does not reflect the feeling of teachers generally as a recent PPTA survey gave a cautious nod to the National Certificate of Educational Achievement.

“But the point is that what drives this little group is not the same that concerns boards – as they have a much wider electorate to consider.”

Chris France says New Zealand has decided it wants the community to manage its schools and has given the job to parent representatives.

“It is of utmost concern to NZSTA that parents are not short-changed by groups wanting to use them to push political barrows.”

He says for boards the major issue over the NCEA has been that the community fully understands the changes that are being made.

“We think that more effort should be made by the government to help parents understand the new qualification.”

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