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Ministerial Taskforce begins work

Ministerial Taskforce begins work

PPTA hopes a ministerial taskforce investigating secondary teaching issues will come up with long term solutions to the recruitment, retention and workload challenges the sector is facing, president Phil Smith said today.

Mr Smith praised the government for moving quickly to convene the Ministerial Taskforce on Secondary Teacher Remuneration, which met for the first time today.

He said PPTA would work through the taskforce to regain pay equity for the approximately 1600 degree equivalent teachers who missed out on accessing the top step of the secondary scale after an arbitration panel decision to limit access to the step to teachers with qualifications at Level 7 on the National Qualifications Framework or better.

“These teachers prepare, teach, supervise, oversee, and counsel… they do everything other trained and qualified teachers do. Many have highly specialised trade qualifications that were previously considered degree equivalent and years of practical experience in their trade. If we lose these teachers, knowledge-wave subjects such as technology will suffer.”

Mr Smith said the PPTA saw the taskforce as an opportunity to develop longer term solutions for workload, recruitment and retention problems.

“Last year’s secondary settlement made a very sound start to resolving the workload problems in secondary schools.

“However, high loss rates from secondary teaching and slow growth in teacher trainee numbers suggest there is much more work to be done.

“Our view is that if issues such as workload and conditions in secondary schools are addressed so the job of teaching is made more manageable, and New Zealand teachers paid at a globally competitive rate, then we will be able to attract more talented young graduates into secondary teaching and keep them here.”

The taskforce will be chaired by Dame Margaret Bazley and includes PPTA senior vice-president Jen McCutcheon, PPTA junior vice-president Debbie Te Waiti, Epsom Girls Grammar principal Margaret Bendall, New Zealand School Trustees Association general manager Ray Newport, and two Ministry of Education representatives. It is expected to report to the Minister of Education by 31 October 2003.

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