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Maharey bullies teachers into silence

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

24 July 2006

Maharey bullies teachers into silence

Teachers will be scared to speak out about the problems they have managing severe behavioural problems in the classroom because of the Education Minister's blind adherence to political correctness, says National Party Education spokesman Bill English.

“Every day teachers work hard to manage a whole range of social problems on behalf of the community.

“Now, Labour is telling them they have to grin and bear it.

“Steve Maharey’s ridiculous statement about National’s position is exactly the sort of bullying behaviour from him that stops sensible discussion about a serious issue.”

Research by Professor John Hattie of Auckland University shows that the most negative effect on a student’s learning is disruptive behaviour in the classroom.

“Mr Maharey and the Principals Federation should be listening to teachers and taking note of the research instead of attacking me for raising the issue,” says Mr English.

“It’s notable that the NZEI and the PPTA have not supported their attempts to paint the genuine concerns of classroom teachers as extremist views.

“Mainstreaming has had positive effects but it’s time for a more flexible attitude that balances the rights of all children, and gives teachers a fair chance to do what we ask them to do. It’s time to move back to common sense.

“It’s time we stopped pretending that teachers can teach much of the curriculum at all when they are up to their ears with social behavioral problems.

“National will offer teachers a better chance to do the job of teaching, not social working,” says Mr English.


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