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Report’s vision a “weird mix”

Report’s vision a “weird mix” - PPTA

The newly released Vision for the teaching profession report is a “weird mix of gold and dross,” PPTA president Kate Gainsford says.

PPTA applauded the report’s emphasis on promoting teaching as a high status profession, attracting the best candidates for teacher education, high quality induction and mentoring for beginning teachers and ongoing professional learning, Gainsford said. “These are the kind of goals that underpin much of PPTA’s work, including our current position in the collective agreement negotiations.”

Unfortunately the report also showed a worrying level of ignorance about the New Zealand Teachers’ Council, Gainsford said.
“It recommends ‘refocusing’ the role of the Teachers Council, and then describes a future role that is exactly what the Council does now.”

The report alleges that direct representation of teacher unions on the council “may lead to emphasis on employment conditions and industrial matters rather than professional leadership”, but Gainsford described this as “nonsense.
“PPTA’s representatives on the council have always demonstrated strong leadership in professional matters and their contribution is highly regarded,” she said.

There were some good recommendations in the report and some that lacked a sense of practical knowledge about schools and teachers’ workloads.
If, for instance, the recommendation that teacher education consist of three years postgraduate study - the last two of which were done part-time as a beginning teacher - was implemented under current workloads, the proportion of teachers leaving by the end of their second year would rise from the current 15% to nearer 50%, she said.

The report’s “kite flying” about introducing performance pay for teachers also showed ignorance of the various failed attempts internationally to implement such schemes, Gainsford said. “More often than not such schemes are nothing more than a capping mechanism on teachers’ pay.”


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