19 April 2008
Schools Plus resourcing to be watched very closely.
Education Minister Chris Carter has assured teachers the Government’s Schools Plus education plan will be properly resourced – A promise the PPTA certainly plans to hold him to.
Mr Carter was a keynote speaker this morning, on the final day of the PPTA’s 2008 professional conference - Secondary teaching on the move.
He spoke about the Schools Plus concept, which would see students engaged in secondary school, tertiary education or some form of workplace training until they were 18 years old, and addressed the question that is on every teacher’s mind – “Who’s going to pay for it?”
With Schools Plus secondary schools will act as the hub of the project, providing pastoral care and guidance for students who may be off site on tertiary or work-based courses.
This of course will require a lot of resourcing, in terms of teacher time, personalised learning programmes and keeping tabs on students who may not be based at school.
Mr Carter assured those present that the Government would provide extra resourcing to implement the programme.
“We are not just dumping Schools Plus on schools and saying ‘teachers you have to do this’…We are committed to resourcing Schools Plus properly so it works,” he said.
Mr Carter emphasised the importance of the PPTA when it comes to educational policy.
“Every positive step we
have taken in this country in education has only been
possible with the active participation of the PPTA.
“The PPTA and government haven’t always agreed, but a dialogue between us is critical to achieving good outcomes,” he said.
PPTA junior vice president Kate Gainsford thanked Mr Carter for his “honorable intentions” and challenged him to put his money where his mouth was in terms of resourcing.
“We are happy to hear your assurances on the resourcing issue and we are happy to provide advice,” she said.
She challenged Mr Carter to show teachers he was serious about resourcing schools by helping to address some of the more immediate problems teachers were facing.
She recommended spending more time implementing the new curriculum in schools, rather than rushing it and picking up the pieces later – as has happened before in the case of NCEA.
Implementing recommendation 3.6 of the Ministerial Staffing Review – which would see the pupil/teacher ratio in classes reduced by two per year level and more funding for managerial and pastoral guidance staffing – would be also fantastic place to start, she said.
“It would be a positive signal to us and very helpful,” she said.
The PPTA professional conference winds up this afternoon with a presentation from New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) chief researcher Rosemary Hipkins on Learning for an Uncertain Future.