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NZEI hopes to forge working relationship with new minister

12 December 2011
For Immediate Release

NZEI hopes to be able to forge constructive working relationship with new minister

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa is hoping there will be opportunities to forge a strong and constructive working relationship with the new Education Minister.

In the new cabinet line-up Hekia Parata takes over the education portfolio from Anne Tolley.

NZEI which represents more than 50,000 teachers, principals and education workers acknowledges that the past three years have been challenging.

NZEI President Ian Leckie says “we have seen a lot of policy and measures introduced such as National Standards and cuts to early childhood funding, which have definitely put a strain on the relationship between educational professionals and the government”.

“We have a great education system which we want to see made into a truly excellent one. To do that there must be a healthy and respectful relationship between the education sector and government”.

NZEI believes there are many challenges ahead.

“Charter schools, fundamental problems with National Standards, raising Māori student achievement, the government’s failure to commit to 100% qualified early childhood teachers, the future of education in Christchurch, more support for special needs students and recognising the professional work and value of school support staff are all issues which deserve full and open discussion,” says Mr Leckie.

NZEI hopes the new minister will take on these challenges with an inclusive and constructive approach which values the voice of teachers, principals and communities.

It also wishes Anne Tolley well in her newly-appointed roles.

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