Teacher protests

Teacher unions versus the National led Government is nothing new. It’s normal.

A bit less normal is the actions teachers are taking this week in protest about proposed changes to funding models. Teacher unions say the changes would lead to larger class sizes.

Many schools will be closed to pupils on Tuesday afternoon.

Stuff: Thousands of teachers to walk out this week in protest at bigger class sizes

Teachers will mount the first in a series of big walkouts on Monday to protest the government getting rid of funding based on maximum classroom sizes.

Principals say they will be forced to accept unprecedented numbers of children in their classrooms, if education minister Hekia Parata’s proposed funding changes go ahead.

I thought it was about giving principals choice, not forcing anything specific on them.

The Ministry of Education couldn’t comment on how the funding system could affect teacher ratios or class sizes.

“There hasn’t been any detailed design yet of any new funding system, because we have been at the stage of seeking input on draft proposals for what the funding system should look like,” said Ellen MacGregor-Reid, deputy secretary for strategy, planning and governance.

The ministry wanted sector input well before any decisions were made or a new system designed, her statement said.

They are not getting the sort of ‘input’ they wanted. It looks like the teachers are getting in early, trying to create public opposition before details have been decided.

At present, schools are funded for teachers according to a strict teacher-pupil ratio: one teacher for every 15 pupils at year 1,  ranging up to 29 pupils in years 4 to 6.  The minister proposes to replace those ratios with flat funding per pupil. But she insists the Government is spending more than $11 billion on education and it’s principals, not her, who decide class sizes.

In an unprecedented move, teacher unions NZEI and the PPTA are joining forces after the Ministry of Education announced schools could get a “global budget”. Over the next two weeks, tens of thousands of Kiwi teachers will stop work to discuss the funding proposals in union meetings along the length of New Zealand.

The global budget would cover teaching and learning – including credits for teacher salaries – so teachers’ pay would come out of the same pot the other bills.

National propose, teachers oppose. Seems childish but that’s how it always seems to work out.

Would it be such a bad thing if schools could choose between lower class sizes and lower paid teachers, or larger class sizes with more effective, better paid teachers?

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2 Comments

  1. Iceberg

     /  6th September 2016

    What sane society would let this unelected mafia run our school system?

    Our only hope is that Seymour has the fortitude for the long battle to break them.

    Reply
  2. duperez

     /  6th September 2016

    Seymour is realistic enough to pick battles and the part he should play in them. That’s where his fortitude is at. The art of having the courage of one’s convictions as gossamer.

    Reply

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