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Parents To Express Views On Schooling Strategy

NZEI: Time For Parents To Express Views On Schooling Strategy

NZEI Te Riu Roa says parents and teachers wanting to have their say on priorities for primary schools over the next five years need to make their views known.

The Ministry of Education has set a deadline of March 31 for public input into its ‘Schooling Strategy’ which will set priorities for schools for the next five years.

The goal of the strategy is to achieve excellence and equity of learning outcomes for all students. The Ministry has identified three key objectives to achieve this: Enhancing effective teaching Encouraging family and whanau to nurture learning and have high expectations for students’ on-going learning Improving outcomes for students who are currently underachieving, while continuing to improve outcomes for high and average achievers. “NZEI, other education unions and parents are key stakeholders in the debate over how to improve children’s learning,” NZEI Te Riu Roa President Colin Tarr

“NZEI broadly welcomes the Ministry’s ‘Schooling Strategy’ initiative and hopes it can be meshed with the national strategies for tertiary and early childhood education.”

“We agree that investing in effective teaching is critical to improving learning outcomes, and we actively encourage our members to undertake professional development.”

“However, the strategy does not sufficiently recognise the importance of effective leadership in education.”

“Class size, lack of time and resources, the need for early intervention with troubled students, and inadequate funding and professional development for support staff, are also priorities for NZEI.”

Colin Tarr says NZEI is pleased the ‘schooling strategy’ recognises the critical role that families and whanau played in determining student achievement.

“Teachers are deeply concerned about the wider social needs of some students and families and would welcome new tools that would encourage families who are not engaged with their schools, to become more involved.”

“The real test of the schooling strategy will be if it provides greater consistency, certainty and coherence in terms of policy for primary and intermediate schools.”

“We need to end the continued tweaking and tinkering of the education system based on political whims.”

“Teachers want a coherent, strategic approach. They need to know and agree on the government’s medium term goals, so they can get on with the job of carrying them out,” says Colin Tarr.

The full title of the strategy is: “Making a Bigger Difference for all Students: Directions for a Schooling Strategy”

The stated objectives are: Improving student learning outcomes across knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and identity. Enhancing effective teaching through ongoing professional learning, using evidence based research and sharing knowledge. Strengthening school-home links and building the knowledge of families and whanau so that they can actively support their children’s learning outside school.

Further information on the strategy is available at http://www.schoolingstrategy.govt.nz, and submissions on the strategy document close on March 31, 2005.

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