19 October 2005
PPTA welcomes new education minister
PPTA is welcoming the appointment of Steve Maharey as education minister and is looking forward to working
constructively with Mr Maharey to address key issues in secondary education.
PPTA president Debbie Te Whaiti said Mr Maharey had extensive experience in education, particularly in the tertiary area
and in the interface between schools and tertiary education. She noted the status of Mr Maharey in Cabinet reflected the
importance attached to the education portfolio by the new Government.
She said Mr Maharey would have to continue the work of his predecessor Trevor Mallard in tackling a number of barriers
to raising the quality of the public education system, not the least of which was secondary teacher workload.
A major Australian research report released earlier this year on secondary teacher workload in New Zealand concluded
that workload must be urgently addressed “if the negative effects on the educational achievement of secondary students
in New Zealand schools are to be avoided”, Mrs Te Whaiti said.
Other issues requiring attention included the need:
for an above-inflation increase in the operations grant to cover the increased range of costs faced by schools and
for additional staff for the effective delivery of NCEA, for smaller classes and to provide an expanded subject choice
to address shortages in key subjects areas such as maths, science, technology, te reo Maori and international languages
because not enough teachers are being trained in these areas. to build career pathways for teachers, in areas such as
assessment, pastoral care, ICT and mentoring, underpinned by relevant and timely professional development and learning;
for continued planned investment in a national ICT infrastructure to enable all schools to make effective use of ICT; to
upgrade the physical environment of secondary schools to provide teachers and students with a higher quality learning
environment. to raise the status of teaching as a profession.
“We are looking forward to working constructively with Mr Maharey to resolve the workload, recruitment and retention
issues affecting secondary teachers today and enhance the overall quality of our public education system,” Mrs Te Whaiti
“We believe the constructive, willing and supportive involvement of teachers is crucial to that process.”