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Student Teachers have their say

WELLINGTON TEACHER TRAINEES’ ASSOCIATION (INC)
TE RÖPU O NGA TAUIRA AKO O TE WHANGANUI A TARA

Sunday 19th October 2003

Media Release
For immediate release

Student Teachers have their say

The Wellington Teacher Trainees’ Association (WTTA) today sent its submission to the Government regarding the Student Support Review.

“Today we have told the Government what it needs to do to fix student support with an emphasis on student teachers,” said Association President Greg Henderson.

“We have made a number of recommendations for improvement of the current student support system which range from the significant re-investment that is needed to small changes that could help students right now, we have touched on a number of areas that we believe can be worked on that cost anything from $3 million to the Government right the way up to $200 million,” said Henderson.

“The areas suggested, in our opinion, will would benefit local economies by putting a small amount of much needed support in the hands of impoverished students” said Henderson “This is without even considering the important social good of encouraging new teachers to stay in the classroom.” the Wellington region as a whole through increased expenditure by students,” said Henderson, “the Public Tertiary Institutions bring in a great deal of money and things like allowances for all students can only be good for the regional economy.”

“We believe that the successive Government have undermined student support over the last 12 years, Labour must redress the balance to ensure that no student has to borrow to pay for basics like food and rent.”
and this Labour government must reverse this policy of ignoring students,” said Henderson.

“We have welcomed the opportunity to have our say on the Review, but feel that this is just the Government ensure that it listens to the concerns of students and delivers meaningful change for students.”saying it has talked with students when it has not paid attention to them at all which is something we cannot tolerate,” said Henderson.

ENDS

For more information contact:
Greg Henderson,
President of Wellington Teacher Trainees’ Association
Phone: 029 3253660


WELLINGTON TEACHER TRAINEES ASSOCIATION

SUBMISSION

ON THE

STUDENT SUPPORT REVIEW
Introduction
The Wellington Teacher Trainees Association (WTTA) is the representative students’ association of all the students at the Wellington College of Education (WCE).

We represent the interests of some 1200 students in this submission and thank the New Zealand Government for the opportunity to comment on the Student Support Review.

We believe that tertiary education should be free and that there should be a Universal Allowances for all New Zealand Citizens participating in the Public Tertiary Education System. This submission contains some priorities that we would like to see implemented over the next few years.

The WTTA are also represented in two other submissions. The first submission is from the New Zealand University Students’ Association and the second is from the combined Associations of Wellington that are members of the New Zealand University Students’ Association. We support these two submissions in their entirety.

Submission
We generally understand the constraints that the Government is under with timelines and budgetary constraints and express thanks to the Government for the opportunity to submit our response to this review. We submit the following priorities for your consideration:

1) Support for Student Teachers while on teaching practicum’s (TE)
 At present there is little to no support for teachers on their TE.
 We would like to see recognition that these people are taking time out of work in order to finish their courses and are unable to undertake any extra work. During a recent study of our students we found that this would be equal to $100.00 of earnings per week. This money could be paid out according to who gets an allowance as part of the Student Work Start Grant.
 Estimated cost for this would be $3.5 million.
2) Extension of Student Allowance through the dropping of the age for the parental income threshold.
 At present it is unreasonable that anyone up until the age of 25 should have to rely on their parents financially.
 We would like to see recognition that these people are improving their qualifications for the good of themselves and New Zealand. The dropping of the age threshold by two years for the next three years would create an equitable system for nearly all students. We would recommend that for Budget 2004, the age threshold be set at 23, Budget 2005 at 21 and budget 2006 at 18. Recognition should be given to the large economic gains that communities will experience from increased spending in those communities.
 This Universal Allowance would benefit regional economies immensely. Estimates from within Wellington show that the Wellington economy would benefit by $20-$25 million (after tax) every year (based on July 2002 statistics). When this is extrapolated through the country, the benefits are very apparent.

 Estimated cost would be $50 million extra in 2004, $95 million in 2005 and $200 million 2006.
3) Scholarships
 Scholarships are in place for certain groups, this scheme can be extended to achieve Government goals.
 The Government, for instance, could switch a scholarship on or off a scholarship if there are not enough, people from the South Auckland Region or people from the West Coast Region
 The cost of these scholarships could vary but would be $30,000 per person in a scholarship over a three year degree. This would cover course costs, course related costs and an allowance of $150 (before taxed) over 36 weeks.


4) Recognition that teachers will effectively work for the Government
 Currently student teachers graduate and the majority go into teaching in state schools. As the state schools are in effect owned by the government, this means that the teachers are to all intents and purposes employed by the Government.
 Once the Government has recognised this, and compared this with Teacher pay claims, they will realise that there is a simple and cheaper way to give teachers their claim. This is to pay for students to study towards their teaching degrees.
 If a teacher climbs the pay scale from $36,000 to $52,000 over 20 years and does not need to pay a student loan, then the net benefit for that graduate will be 5.62%.
 This would cost the Government an estimated $90 million dollars every year that there are 10,000 students studying towards a teaching degree.

5) Extension of Course Related Costs
 Institutions will, in the future we feel, move many costs that are at the current time compulsory into voluntary costs.
 Items such as text books, stationary etc… will all still be needed and this will increase into the future under the fee maxima scheme. We would like to see course related costs increase to $1,500 or $2,000.
 We would not like to see any lessening of the restrictions on how these costs are distributed, we believe that the current system for dispersing this money is fair and equitable.
 Estimated cost will be $0 once loans are paid off

Conclusion
We recognise the financial constraints that the Government is under but ask the relevant people to consider Education and Student Support as an investment in the future. Students are the only sector of society that have to borrow in order to live and this inequality has to be rectified in the near future.

As we have stated, we welcome the opportunity to have input into the Student Support Review. We are however sceptical over the use of our submission.

We, as an Association, believe in meaningful consultation and do not believe that this is taking place in regards to the student support review. We will not allow the Government to say that it has consulted with students when our views as students have not been taken into consideration at all in the formulation of a decision.

We look forward to a positive outcome and look forward to Budget 2004 – the Student Budget.

Signed on behalf of the Association,


________________
Greg Henderson
2003 President

________________
Louise Stack
2003 Vice President

Common Seal of the Association

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