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Constant pressure distracts from successes

Media Release

28 September 2006

Constant pressure distracts from successes

Constant negative pressure on schools and teachers around student behaviour and achievement distracts schools from celebrating their many successes, PPTA Secondary Principals’ Council chairperson Arthur Graves said today.

He said New Zealand schools were on the whole great places, but the issues they faced were the same as those in their local communities and the wider New Zealand society.

“There are some huge positives in education at the moment, particularly around the move to more student centred learning, and a strong focus on professional learning and evidence based practice from teachers.

“Through NCEA we have seen more personalised learning, and more opportunities for students to succeed.

“But there is a lot of blame on schools and teachers for low achievement, and criticism of qualifications systems for not being perfect impacts on people’s confidence in schools. People forget that schools are not a panacea for all society’s problems.”

Mr Graves said the fact that the PPTA conference was trying to address issues around student behaviour, class size and NCEA was hugely important, and positive.

“We need to look for positive solutions to the issue of challenging student behaviour. “Physical violence against teachers is becoming a real problem but it is the increasing levels of verbal abuse that are extremely emotionally draining on teachers.

“If the Government wants schools to better manage student behaviour then we need the tools to do so.

“More funding for restorative justice, more places for students in high quality alternative education, more support from Group Special Education would all be steps in the right direction.

ENDS

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