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Schooling system inquiry irrelevant – PPTA

Media Release
19 Feb 2008

Schooling system inquiry irrelevant – PPTA

A select committee inquiry into New Zealand’s schooling system has produced results that are almost “cosmically irrelevant”, PPTA president Robin Duff says.

The Education and Science Committee’s “Inquiry into making the schooling system work for every child” took nearly two years to produce and has achieved nothing more than tell teachers how to do what they are already doing, he said.

“It is nice to see they have caught up with the real world, and it is nice for them to suggest strategies that are already in place – it would be even nicer if, instead of just requiring teachers to show how things are improving, it suggested ways of resourcing those improvements,” he said.

The report only briefly mentions resourcing, despite the fact that a lot of its recommendations were resource intensive.

“It’s the same tired old stuff we have heard time and time again. Teachers are told they need to do certain things and they do the best they can with what they have - then they get slapped over the wrist and told they have to do more, without being given resources to do it,” he said.

One recommendation that particularly irked Mr Duff was that teachers should be only be rewarded full registration after two years’ employment if they demonstrated they were able to consistently raise the achievement of their students.

“A teacher’s move from provisional to full registration is already dependent on their doing a good job with their students, and this is being tightened up as we speak. This is nothing new and is already in hand”.

Its advice that teacher education providers should have to guarantee graduates could manage students in a variety of learning environments was also irrelevant.

“There are Graduating Teacher Standards which teacher education courses have to adhere to now, and these include a number of requirements to ensure they can teach well in any number of contexts. This is all already being done,” he said.

Mr Duff was disappointed that time and money had been wasted producing an “uninformed, vague and lightweight document.

“We need to find ways to address the complex issues facing our education system and properly resource our schools, not waste time reinventing the wheel,” he said.

ENDS

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