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Extra funding a welcome start

4 May 2006

Extra funding a welcome start

The announcement of extra funding to combat disruptive student behaviour is a welcome start to tackling an extremely difficult issue, PPTA president Debbie Te Whaiti said today.

She said the funding announcement was significant because schools were crying out for more help to deal with deteriorating student behaviour.

It was not just other students on the receiving end, but teachers as well.

“The Perceptions of Teachers and Teaching report released this week describes student behaviour as one of the three main barriers to attracting and retaining teachers.

“Teachers have the right to be safe in their workplace and not to be threatened, just as students have the right to feel safe in schools.”

Te Whaiti said a recent workshop at the Association’s Issues and Organising Seminar highlighted teachers’ concerns at the situations that put their safety and professionalism at risk: breaking up student fights, being intimidated by students, parents and caregivers, and answering complaints that they spend too much time dealing with disruptive students.

Participants at the workshop also said schools were sometimes vilified for high suspension rates but often lacked funding or resources to do anything but suspend students.

“Teachers say they are concerned for the students causing the distress, but they are angry at the lack of a systematic national approach to the problem.

“We hope today’s announcement will be a step towards supporting schools with a coordinated, national approach.”

ENDS

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