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ERO should stop dumping on schools

Media Release

27 October 2005

ERO should stop dumping on schools

It’s too easy for ERO to dump on teachers and schools for problems that years of unemployment, transience, poverty, poor housing and family dysfunction have created, PPTA president Debbie Te Whaiti said today.

She said ERO was placing all the responsibility on schools and teachers to turn water into wine without acknowledging either the barriers to learning faced by at risk students outside the school, or the reality of chronic under-funding of schools.

“ERO is asking schools to wave a magic wand to reverse the tail of underachievement with their current funding and staffing. Typically it offers no solutions.

“The students in this so-called 20 per cent group can have layer upon layer of problems, of violence in the home, sexual and drug abuse, truancy and gang involvement. Yet education agencies and the media persist in only blaming teachers and schools for their underachievement.

“These students often need one-on-one teaching and intensive pastoral care to overcome a history of disadvantage and their schools desperately need enhanced resourcing and specialist staffing to focus on their learning and behavioural needs.”

“It’s time society committed to addressing the real problems behind underachievement.

“If I was in school today I would be gutted.

“Rather than acknowledging the dedication and endeavour of teachers to do the very best for every student, what is going on is another huge teacher bashing exercise that will drive teachers from the profession.

“New Zealand has one of the highest asthma rates in the world; we don’t blame the health system for it. We have one of the highest incarceration rates; we don’t blame the police.

“Dumping on dedicated teachers needs to stop. It’s an exercise that serves no-one, least of all our kids.”

ENDS

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