28 March 2008
Spotlight on Schools Plus shadows resource concerns – PPTA
While the Government shines the spotlight on its new Schools Plus project, it appears to be ignoring resourcing issues that already exist, PPTA president Robin Duff says.
The Schools Plus discussion document released yesterday was heavy on instructions for teachers and schools, but light on explanations as to how these would be implemented, Mr Duff said.
The PPTA was positive about the initiative itself, which would see students in some form of education or training until they turned 18, but concerned about where the resources would come from for it to be put into practice.
“There is rising concern about the obsession with this
project at a time when schools are struggling with the last
set of badly implemented initiatives.
“When we have no assurances about resourcing for where we are now, it is not surprising there is some cynicism surrounding a plan that would need even more,” he said.
Mr Duff also felt the discussion document put the onus on teachers and schools to put the new scheme in place.
“There is a list of
commandments dictating the things schools will do and
provide, but little in the way of suggestions as to how they
will achieve this.
“Goals such as having all young people provided with a personal education plan are all very worthy, but where will the extra resources come from to provide this?”
“What the Government is suggesting is something that principals and schools want to do, and something many are already working towards with the few resources they have. The problem is the spirit is willing, but the resources are weak,” he said.
“We sincerely hope our concerns will be proved unfounded, but we certainly question whether the $170 million the Government has pledged will be enough to support the project, given the staffing and resourcing issues we are facing already.
“We challenge all parties interested in this important area to seriously lay down costings and commitments. In the end, what it really boils down to is ‘show us the money and resources’,” he said.