8 May 2013
Funding for Positive Behaviour programme welcome but no silver bullet
NZEI Te Riu Roa says the increased funding for a programme aimed at addressing problem behaviour in children and young people is welcome recognition that out-of-school factors are key influencers of educational achievement.
NZEI representative on the Ministry of Education’s Education Sector Reference Group, Rikki Sheterline says the Positive Behaviour for Learning programme is successful because it recognises positive behaviour as well as provides support to address and turn around disruptive and negative behaviour.
But he says the increased funding is not a silver bullet and needs to be part of a bigger economic and social policy that puts children’s needs first.
“The biggest causes of disruptive behaviour and educational underachievement are issues associated with poverty, transience and family stress and dysfunction.
“These issues have a far greater impact on learning and achievement than in-school factors so it’s important that the Positive Behaviour for Learning programmes are part of a joined up social and economic policy that puts children’s needs first.
“If the Government is serious about ensuring ALL children can engage in learning, it is important to continue to invest in more successful programmes such as this.
Mr Sheterline says he’s concerned that the Minister of Education’s pre-Budget comments today may indicate a cut in other areas of education designed to support vulnerable children and that this is being done without adequate consultation with the sector.
“Unfortunately we are also seeing too much money and effort being wasted on misguided policies like National Standards that do nothing except label children that teachers already know need support.
“And sadly Charter schools are another costly and wasteful diversion of time and resourcing away from addressing real issues of underachievement.”