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Teachers' Council Appointment Is Breathtaking

Teachers' Council Appointment Is Breathtaking

Tuesday 1 Jul 2003 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Education

ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today congratulated Joanna Beresford for her stellar rise from union flunky to better-paid union flunky.

"Trevor Mallard - the Minister in Charge of Staying Friends with the Teachers' Unions - has breathlessly announced that he is appointing Ms Beresford chair of the Teachers Council. He tells us she will bring `common sense' to her new role overseeing the Labour-implemented governing body of teachers," Ms Coddington said.

"Ms Beresford, who has been working with the unions since the early 1980s, certainly brings many things to her new position. I'm just not convinced that common sense is one of them.

"And I don't think many parents will think of `common sense' when they read Ms Beresford's exhortations, such as: `We must actively promote trade unions as at the very core of a democratic and participatory society'. Someone tell the band to strike up the Internationale.

"What we really need at the Teachers' Council is someone who will improve the quality of the teaching force, and make teaching a more desirable profession. On a day-to-day basis, we need someone capable of dealing with the bottleneck problems of teacher vetting and registration.

"Mr Mallard should have looked for someone who could inspire widespread support from teachers and parents. Instead, he has chosen a woman who encouraged people to vote Labour or Alliance in 1999, because of her fear that National and ACT would bring `turmoil with reform upon reform'.

"This is a person who has attended international union meetings to teach others how unions can `promote their own agenda and priorities'.

"Instead of making teaching more attractive, Ms Beresford's appointment could make the profession even less attractive, if she puts union interests first.

"What an appointment. It would be wonderful if Mr Mallard could do as much for the five-and-six year-olds who can't read, as he does for the teachers' unions," Ms Coddington said.


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