Friday May 16
PPTA moves forward as Government reinvents wheel.
With the future of secondary students at risk of becoming a political football, the PPTA is putting a practical foot forward.
As submissions close on the Government’s Schools Plus discussion document the PPTA is releasing a youth strategy of its own.
This comes amid very real fears that the Schools Plus proposal, which would see all young people in some form of education or training until the age of 18, has the danger of becoming an “overly optimistic set of ideological recommendations with little practical substance,” PPTA president Robin Duff says.
Secondary Forward draws together 20 years of PPTA policies around the senior curriculum.
Policies on secondary education have been released by both the Government and opposition parties, but Secondary Forward comes from the coalface – the 18,000 specialist subject teachers the PPTA represents.
Secondary Forward supports the idea of secondary school as the ‘home’ institution which oversees a personalised programme for all 16 to 18 year olds. This would include a range of learning opportunities, pathways guidance and mentoring, and support their successful movement from school into work or further education.
“There is no way this vision would be possible with the level of funding the Government is currently talking about,” Mr Duff said.
The Ministry’s track record in supporting changes in secondary schools was not good and schools’ cynicism about the proposal was more than justified, he said.
“It is difficult to overstate the concern members have that Schools Plus will constitute yet another example of poorly implemented and superficial change that is more concerned with demonstrating ‘results’, no matter how cosmetic, than taking gradual, systematic and sustainable steps forward.
“Without a realistic commitment to tackle staffing and funding issues, it looks to be just another case of reinventing the wheel,” he said.
Copies of Secondary Forward can be requested by emailing email@example.com or via the PPTA website www.ppta.org.nz