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New diploma recognises value of teachers

New diploma recognises value of teachers

A new diploma being made available to secondary teachers mainly qualified in technology fields will help recognise their value says Associate Education Minister David Benson-Pope.

Around 600 secondary teachers are expected to take the new diploma course called the New Zealand Diploma in Specialist Subjects (Secondary Teacher), which will be provided by Christchurch College of Education.

The Ministry of Education and the PPTA jointly developed the qualification following a recommendation from the 2003 Ministerial Taskforce on Secondary Teacher Remuneration. The diploma provides a pathway for specialist teachers to upgrade their qualifications.

"Teachers eligible to enrol in the diploma are mainly those who hold qualifications in the technology subjects,” said Mr Benson-Pope. "These teachers were affected by the August 2002 settlement of the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement, because at the time of their teaching appointment, there were no degrees available in their subject area.

"By completing this new diploma, they will now have access to a higher salary group. I am very pleased at the way the teaching profession and the Ministry of Education were able to work together to reach this outcome."

Mr Benson-Pope says the Government is also providing a package of support to those secondary teachers who undertake the diploma by providing special study leave, study awards, and a contribution towards fees.

"Contributing to the professional development of staff across the education sector, has been a focus for the Government in recent years," said Mr Benson-Pope. "We will spend over $67million dollars this year helping teachers and principals further advance their skills and knowledge. That is a staggering 125 per cent increase in funding since 1999. But we believe the investment is well worth it."

The Christchurch College of Education will be announcing within the next week that it is open for enrolments. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority has approved the diploma as a level 7 qualification on the New Zealand Register of Quality Assured Qualifications.

Fact sheet: Teacher supply, retention and professional development

"We’ve focused heavily on supplying more teachers and on supporting teachers to ensure that they provide quality teaching," Associate Education Minister David Benson-Pope.

Commitment to education sector: In 2004/05 18% of the government’s total core spending will be on education.

New Zealand now ranks 3rd in the OECD for spending on state education as a percentage of GDP.

More teachers: Research shows that regardless of a students background quality teachers can and do make the biggest difference to student achievement. Since 1999, the government has put 2700 extra teachers in classrooms over and above those needed to match roll growth.

An additional 362 FTTE secondary teacher positions were resourced in 2004 (above those needed for roll growth). There will be a further 511 FTTE positions resourced in 2005, and 338 FTTE secondary teacher positions in 2006.

Better pay: The government has increased teacher salaries. For secondary teachers the government agreed to a three-year $270 million pay offer that will see pay increases of between 8.74 and 13.1 per cent.

Included in this package was additional non-classroom time for teachers and 15 paid sabbatical leave positions from 2006 and an additional 15 from 2007.

In the secondary teacher agreement, the government is piloting a new role of ‘specialist classroom teacher’. It will release the teacher from the classroom for four hours a week to support and mentor beginning teachers.

Better incentives means fewer vacancies: The number of actual vacancies in secondary schools at the start of this year was 18% fewer than the same time last year and 45% fewer than for the same time in 2003.

Professional development: The government will spend over $67million dollars this year helping teachers and principals further advance their skills and knowledge. That is 125 per cent increase in funding for professional development since 1999.

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