Professional issues, politics and policy – PPTA
Secondary teachers from throughout the country have descended on Wellington to talk professional issues, politics and
For the next three days they will be based at the Brentwood Hotel in Kilbirnie, taking part in PPTA’s 63rd annual
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
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
“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 www.ppta.org.nz