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Teachers need time to teach

7 April 2008

Teachers need time to teach

Parents have an unrealistic idea of what schools and teachers are funded for and are able to do, PPTA president Robin Duff says.

This comes after it was revealed police had been called in by parents to investigate whether Hutt Valley High School was guilty of child abuse for neglect.

“These days teachers are expected to act as police, guidance counsellors and administrative assistants, as well as trying to squeeze in time for actual teaching,” he said.

The Hutt Valley High case centred on the alleged unreported absenteeism of a boy police had warned school leaders was emotionally volatile. Teachers had apparently been asked to monitor him closely.

“Teachers are under enormous pressure- they are under resourced and sometimes working in classes of 30 plus students – that’s two minutes per student. Teachers are often stretched to give students the individual care and attention that every parent wants,” he said.

Mr Duff was also concerned about the increasing amount of teacher time being taken up by administrative duties and was particularly critical of the eAR attendance monitoring programme, which provides 22 different reasons for students to be out of class.

“With their time increasingly taken up with such duties it is no wonder some students go under the radar,” he said.

Mr Duff felt Hutt Valley High was receiving the rap for a number of systemic faults in the education system that the Minister of Education needed to address urgently.


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