Teach­ers protest against ‘dis­as­trous’ govt pol­icy

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By ROSE CAW­LEY

In­vest­ing in Ed­u­ca­tion Suc­cess is a ‘‘dis­as­trous’’ pol­icy.

That is what New­ton Cen­tral deputy prin­ci­pal Josephine McKen­drey had to say when she protested out­side MP Nikki Kaye’s of­fice last week.

NZEI mem­bers marched on MPs’ of­fices across the coun­try, de­mand­ing changes to the $359 mil­lion ini­tia­tive.

The pol­icy would see some teach­ers and prin­ci­pals take on new lead­er­ship roles – and re­ceive higher pay as a re­sult.

Schools would opt into small groups and lead­ers would be se­lected from within that col­lab­o­ra­tive struc­ture.

In­stead McKen­drey says there needs to be more support staff, more spe­cial­ist teach­ers for stu­dents with learn­ing needs and more ed­u­ca­tional psy­chol­o­gists avail­able to schools.

‘‘But the Gov­ern­ment ap­pear to have stopped lis­ten­ing to the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor and ask­ing us teach­ers for ideas and our views.’’

She says young­sters who need ex­tra support de­serve to have ac­cess to it.

‘‘A teacher sadly has to weigh up the ac­tual chances they might have of the stu­dent be­ing picked up by the ser­vices.

‘‘Of­ten th­ese ser­vices have so many stu­dents to con­sider pick­ing up that they have to nar­row down the cri­te­ria for giv­ing support.’’

Ser­vices need bet­ter fund­ing to al­low more trained staff and hours to schools.

She says if that hap­pened then ‘‘no child would be left be­hind’’.

Rich­mond Road School teacher Jack­son Vogt says NZEI teach­ers and prin­ci­pals have made it clear what they think by over­whelm­ingly vot­ing against the pol­icy late last month.

‘‘We have es­sen­tially voted no on a pay rise – that is almost un­heard of but we know the money needs to go to the kids, not to our pock­ets.’’

He says the money would be bet­ter spent on support staff who have a huge im­pact in the class­room.

‘‘Yet the money for support staff at the mo­ment comes out of the same pool as the

de­liver

support

to pho­to­copy­ing. That doesn’t value them or show how im­por­tant they are to th­ese kids.’’

He says the Gov­ern­ment has picked up how im­por­tant col­lab­o­ra­tion is but sadly they’ve missed the heart of the con­cept.

‘‘In­stead what we have here is a style of man­age­ment that is be­ing forced on us.

‘‘Well we are stand­ing up and say­ing no.’’

NZEI has come up with its own plan for spend­ing the $359 mil­lion, which in­cludes smaller class sizes, high qual­ity early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion and more help for kids with spe­cial needs.

It also in­volves ini­tia­tives that support suc­cess for Maori and Pa­cific stu­dents and en­sur­ing sus­tain­able fund­ing for school support staff.

No go: Teach­ers Ally Kem­plen, Josephine McKen­drey, Sa­man­tha Ben­nett and Jack­son Vogt join an early morn­ing protest against the Gov­ern­ment’s In­vest­ing in Ed­u­ca­tion Suc­cess.

Pho­tos: LAU­REN PRI­EST­LEY

Or­gan­is­ers Jenny Hunt, Judy Lewins and Diana Mun­roe wel­come vis­i­tors. Front row: Les­ley Thom­son and Anne McKin­non get ready for the event.

Heynen.

Guest speaker: Pro­fes­sor Win­ston By­blow ad­dresses the au­di­ence. He is the di­rec­tor of the Move­ment Neu­ro­science Lab­o­ra­tory at Auck­land Univer­sity.

Good friends: Meadowbank U3A mem­bers Gay Wil­liams and Jenny Mar­beck.

Hav­ing fun: Janette Moore and John

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