Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Why staff and practitioners must be listened to

Media release
Tertiary Education Union - Te Hautū Kahurangi o Aotearoa

Teacher training report evidence of why staff and practitioners must be listened to

Today’s Education Review Office (ERO) report showing a 'widespread' lack of confidence in teacher graduates' preparedness for the classroom is a reminder to government and institution bosses that tertiary education staff must be listened to when training courses are changed.

Expert staff and practitioners warned the Ministry of Education, the Tertiary Education Commission and colleges of education bosses that relaxing entry levels and focusing on the pedagogy of teacher education at the expense of practicum would result in a deterioration of student skills.

Repeated warnings at the time from members of the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education and then the Tertiary Education Union (TEU) fell on deaf ears. Unfortunately, as the ERO report suggests, ignoring these concerns put the education of our children at risk.

Sharn Riggs, secretary of the TEU said “the ERO report confirmed what staff have been telling government for years: if you relax standards and diminish the practical component of teacher training, new graduate teachers will be underprepared for the classroom, and that ultimately it will be the education of our children that suffers.”

The ERO report says it found “a lack of confidence in the selection, professional education and capabilities of many newly graduated teachers as they enter the profession.” It also said that from 2000 to 2015, New Zealand has witnessed a decline in performance “in the critical areas of reading, mathematics and science".

Earlier this week a global study found that the average reading level of Kiwi 10-year-olds has dropped to its lowest level on record. New Zealand is currently ranked 32ndout of 50 countries in reading achievement, having dropped eleven places since 2011.

The Education Council said it is considering changes to make sure all future teachers enter the workforce well equipped to teach in the classrooms. It is vital that staff are given a leading role in this process so that the mistakes of the past are not repeated, the TEU said.

“The ERO report is a lesson to all decision makers. When making changes to professional training qualifications, the people who deliver the training day-in-day-out must be listened to. They know the profession better than anyone, and had their expertise been listened to at the time then this disappointing report could have been avoided,” Riggs said.

1. A copy of the ERO report can be accessed here


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis Review: Reclaiming The N-Word - Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman

Black resistance to institutional racism in the US has a long, tangled, and traumatic intellectual history. Although we may have assumed much too easily that white supremacists like David Duke had become marginalised as a political force, in reality they never really disappeared ... More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Minstrel in The Gallery - Sam Hunt's Selected Poems

Perhaps the most striking aspect of Sam Hunt's poetry is its quality of urgent authenticity. Encountering this latest compilation, the reader is immediately struck by its easy accessibility, tonal sincerity, and lack of linguistic pretension ... More>>

A Matter Of Fact: Truth In A Post-Truth World

How do we convincingly explain the difference between good information and misinformation? And conversely, how do we challenge our own pre-conceived notions of what we believe to be true? More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: The Road To Unfreedom

Valerie Morse: Yale professor of history Tim Snyder publishes a stunning account of the mechanisms of contemporary Russian power in US and European politics. In telling this story he presents both startling alarms for our own society and some mechanisms of resistance. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland