27 March 2014
Low decile schools need more support from government
Principals and teachers at low decile schools need more support from the government to ensure that all children get equitable access to education.
Official figures show that some schools in poorer areas have had an annual turnover of nearly half their students as parents move frequently because of poverty and lack of housing affordability.
NZEI executive member and principal of May Road School, Lynda Stuart says teachers at low socio-economic schools understand poverty and the effect it has on students’ achievement.
“That’s why we constantly come up with solutions to ensure opportunities for children are as equitable as possible. But poverty is a key issue and that’s why more support from the government is needed”
“For instance, in our area we have formed a trust (the Ako Hiko Education Trust) with six other schools to provide chromebooks for all children in two digital classes. The children will then be able to keep those computers for use as their own.”
“In high decile schools children are often able to bring their own devices.”
Lynda Stuart says teachers do a lot to mitigate the effects of poverty and ensure all children get good opportunities. But there needs to be real support from the government.
“Unfortunately the government’s policy direction, such as offering gold plated bonuses to some principals while paying school support staff less than a living wage, will do nothing to improve equity and fairness in education.”