Teachers and principals say new education policy ‘unworkable’

Press Release – NZEI Te Riu Roa
Primary school leaders at a forum in Wellington today overwhelmingly expressed a lack of confidence in the Government’s $359m Investing in Educational Success policy.

NZEI Te Riu Roa National President Judith Nowotarski said leaders from national and regional principal and teacher groups have sent a clear message that the Government’s policy, as it currently stands, is unacceptable and unworkable.

The group identified the lack of direct benefit for children in this policy.

The IES policy, announced by the Prime Minister in January, would create four new roles (executive principal, change principal, expert teacher, and lead teacher) working across up to ten schools.

NZ Principals’ Federation President Philip Harding said school leaders were not convinced that this policy was flexible enough to work effectively in schools which often sit in vastly different contexts, both geographically and socially.

School leaders were concerned that the policy would remove great teachers and principals from their schools for two days a week, which would impact on children’s learning.

Forum members agreed to go back to their school communities and Boards of Trustees to raise awareness about their concerns with the policy.

Press Release – NZEI – July 9
Primary School leaders are meeting in Wellington tomorrow to discuss the Government’s $359m education initiative. The forum is being jointly convened by NZEI Te Riu Roa and the NZ Principals’ Federation to discuss what is proposed to be the biggest change in the way schools are managed in the past 25 years.

“This is a fundamental system change that needs further discussion and consultation with school communities including Boards of Trustees and parents,” said NZEI National President Judith Nowotarski.

“We need to unpick the details to ensure that our school communities can make an informed choice about the plans,” she said.

The Government sprung this concept on the education sector back in January when the Prime Minister announced plans to establish new executive principal and leader teacher roles operating within “communities of schools”.

NZPF President Philip Harding says that tension and concern amongst teachers and principals has been exacerbated by the way the initiative was announced and the secrecy surrounding the process since then.

“The details of the plan have only been released in the last week so the sector as a whole is only now able to analyse the proposal.”

“There is a lot that needs to be looked at closely and we need to assess whether the proposal, in its current form, will be workable and meet the objectives of supporting high quality teaching and learning,” he said.

It’s expected that 80 principal and teacher leaders will attend the day-long forum.

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