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Support staff overlooked in Budget

16 May, 2013

Immediate Release

Support staff overlooked in Budget

The forgotten heroes in schools - support staff - have been totally overlooked in the Budget.

“Support staff have borne the brunt of the Novopay debacle. They have worked long hours to make sure staff at school get paid, at great cost to themselves. Schools cannot function without these staff who carry out vital administration, teach our most vulnerable children, work in the libraries and give IT and technical support,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa president Judith Nowotarski.

There has been an inadequate increase in the operations grant to schools – from which support staff pay is funded. The operations grant has increased by 1.9 percent which will only just cover forecast inflation for 2014 of 1.9 percent. This is not a rise in real terms.

Many support staff in schools are paid as little as $15.03 an hour. The living wage has been calculated at $18.40 an hour.

“The Government by not lifting the ops grant adequately is directly responsible for the low pay of support staff. It should recognise this important group of people and pay them a decent and living wage,” says Mrs Nowotarski.

16 May, 2013

Immediate Release

Government throws more money at failed experiment

The Government’s announcement in today’s budget that it will spend $19 million on contingency funding for charter schools over four years is funding a failed experiment that will not benefit New Zealand children, says NZEI Te Riu Roa.

“Charter schools have been a failed experiment overseas. They will use public money to prop up private institutions, put unqualified and unregistered teachers in front of our most vulnerable children and will not be subject to the usual scrutiny,” says NZEI president Judith Nowotarski.

“What was needed today was a commitment to lift achievement of all primary school students. It has failed to deliver this. Instead the Government is racing ahead with funding its Global Education Reform (GERM) policies which are based on competition and standardisation like charter schools and national standards.”

After already spending at least $29 million on unreliable and flawed national standards, the Government is spending more money on another GERM policy.

It is doing this by funding the PaCT tool – which is basically an assessment tool to inform National Standards.

“Almost half the ‘quality teaching’ funding goes to PaCT - from $16.2m of $37m. It is just about teaching teachers to use the PaCT tool not about kids’ learning and teacher development,” says Mrs Nowotarski.

National Standards are damaging as they affect teachers’ morale and practice negatively and children’s belief in their own abilities.

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