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Professional issues, politics and policy – PPTA

Professional issues, politics and policy – PPTA

Secondary teachers from throughout the country have descended on Wellington to talk professional issues, politics and policy.

For the next three days they will be based at the Brentwood Hotel in Kilbirnie, taking part in PPTA’s 63rd annual conference.

Delegates will be discussing the future of NCEA, crisis in school middle leadership, workload issues, the threat of charter schools and changes in initial teacher education among other pressing issues.

They will debate and vote on papers that will shape PPTA policy. Decisions will be made by secondary teachers for secondary teachers.

In opening this year’s conference, PPTA president Angela Roberts looked back to the issues delegates discussed during the association’s inaugural conference in 1953.

Teacher shortages, curriculum and assessment, class sizes and professional learning and development were all on the agenda and, over 60 years later, the battles continue, she said.

“The similarity of the concerns over sixty years speaks to the persistence and longevity of our struggle. There has never been a time when PPTA members have not been engaged in activities that are designed to make the system better and fairer for kids.”

NCEA was another example of complex problems not lending themselves to simple, politically convenient solutions, Roberts said.

“Year after year our commitment to finding durable solutions to problems around senior school qualifications at conferences like this one has been unwavering, and we continue to ask the hard questions,” she said.

Those questions will also be asked about charter schools, workload and initial education for prospective secondary teachers, Roberts told delegates

“What you do here is important. It has far reaching consequences for secondary schools, members and students. Our commitment to making schools fairer and better places for all students and not just the ones in wealthy suburbs or the ones in classes of 15 in charter schools, means our struggle is never at an end. Those who want an education system that treats students as commodities on a production line in order to advance an agenda of privatisation and profiteering will never rest. Nor shall we.”

The full conference papers can be found at:

The conference is also webstreaming live at


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