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Teachers voluntary work must be acknowledged

Alliance Party media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday 5 December

Teachers voluntary work must be acknowledged, says Alliance

The new Alliance Party Spokesperson for Education, Richard Wallis, says that today is a great day to acknowledge the work of teachers.

"The International Day of Volunteers is a great day to remember that all teachers engage in some form of volunteer work in their schools, from coaching a sports team to organising the school ball."

Mr Wallis, a teacher, says most of the non classroom activities in schools happen because teachers volunteer their own time to make them happen.

"Much of the special character of our schools is a direct result of this volunteer work."

He says New Zealand is in danger of losing this valuable aspect of school life as more and more teachers leave the profession due to stress and unrealistic workload.

The ACER report recently stated that teachers work an average of 47 hours a week. Add to that the volunteer work and it soon becomes apparent that teachers work upwards of 55 hours a week, says Mr Wallis.

“I have seen teachers, new to the profession, leave after a year because they cannot cope with the expectations of being a teacher."

The Alliance suggests maximum class sizes of 20 in all primary and secondary schools.

This, coupled with the funding of sufficient new teachers to cope with the increased demand, would significantly reduce the marking and pastoral care time teachers would need, says Mr Wallis.

Mr Wallis says another useful innovation would be to establish more efficient resource sharing centres where schools would be able to share their teaching materials further reducing the amount of preparation time teachers would need to engage in.


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