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Mallard Passes The Buck

Mallard Passes The Buck

Tuesday 25 Nov 2003 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Education

Secondary school students face uncertainty and upheaval next year with reports that principals are struggling to provide teachers with four non-teaching hours a week - a requirement of the latest collective contract for teachers, ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"This mess exposes the complete failure of the centralised negotiation system supported by the PPTA and an out-of-touch Minister," Miss Coddington said.

"It has crippled the education sector. ACT's solution would be to introduce devolved funding and allow schools and communities the flexibility to employ more teachers to reduce stress and workload,

"Education Minister Trevor Mallard has created this situation. The introduction of the NCEA - and its increased focus on internal assessment - has created greater workload pressures for teachers. The PPTA stipulated non-contact time in its agreement with the Minister - partly in response to this increased workload.

"Mr Mallard had one eye on the upcoming general election when he agreed to the PPTA's demands. The teachers dispute had dragged on for 14 months and had become a major source of embarrassment for Labour.

"Principal Brent Lewis was right when he said the non-contact agreement was a `hospital pass for schools'. The Minister decided it was more important to win the election and let schools pick up the pieces later," Miss Coddington said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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