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Parents urged to get involved in kid’s learning

Media release

Parents urged to get involved in children’s learning - NZSTA

Education doesn’t start when you walk inside the school gate and stop when you walk out, says the New Zealand School Trustees Association.

The annual NZSTA conference being held at the Christchurch Convention Centre from July 18-20 is based on the theme Effective governance: leading change for high student achievement.

NZSTA president Lorraine Kerr, who is opening the conference, says a significant number of students, particularly Maori and Pasifika, have been identified over several years as underachieving.

But Ms Kerr says schools can only do so much and must rely on parents to do their share as well.

“Responsibility for this problem lies with parents too. Education doesn’t start when you walk inside the school gate and stop when you walk out.”

In an attempt to address the issue Ms Kerr says the Government has poured millions of dollars into the education system through boosting teacher numbers by 5600, improving teacher salary conditions and increasing the operations grant by 1.9 percent.

The Government has also introduced a new and improved curriculum document, released a Maori success strategy called Ka Hikitia, introduced Schools-Plus, a strategy to keep students in education until they’re 18, and involved numerous other reference groups.

However, she says the problem, while being addressed, is yet to be solved.

“The bottom line is that it’s not just a board of trustees, school principal or even a staff problem – it is also a society problem. It is a community issue and parents, families and the wider community must join forces with our schools to work out how we can better help our kids.”

Ms Kerr says a lot of parents do take responsibility but those that don’t are letting their children down.


2/Parents MR

“Some parents don’t take enough interest in what’s going on at school. For some parents their experiences at school weren’t good so they don’t encourage their children,” she says.

“Some parents don’t encourage homework - we all know that some children will say they’ve done their homework when asked but they haven’t. Parents really need to get more involved with their children and support them at home.

“They need to place a greater value on the importance of children achieving to their potential, and demonstrate this through positive attitudes towards their children’s schooling. Encouragement, support and creating increased expectations at home can make a big difference to how children approach their schooling.”

“We know that under the right circumstances, all students can achieve, almost without exception, and that the best results come when boards, principals, teachers and communities all accept a responsibility that they each have a part to play in creating success.

“The alternative is not acceptable, as 10-15 years down the track these same students who underachieve will be at a disadvantage in an environment which may be quite different to that existing today.

“That possibility is a really, really worrying thought.”

Other topics to be covered at the NZSTA conference include student discipline issues confronting schools in 2008, the challenges and opportunities faced by boards of trustees in developing cyber citizens and issues that arise from complaints to the Ombudsmen’s Office by parents or students about board of trustees’ disciplinary decisions.


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