NZEI Te Riu Roa is concerned at the growing number of primary teachers who feel unsafe in their classroom. The survey from NZCER
shows 24% of primary teachers occasionally felt unsafe in their classroom, up from 12% in 2016.
NZEI Te Riu Roa President, Liam Rutherford, says the findings are deeply concerning and show the need for urgent
investment in learning support and addressing teacher workload.
"Having one in four primary teachers feel unsafe in the classroom is completely unacceptable. This shows just how urgent
increased investment in specialist learning support is, along with addressing teacher workload," he says.
The survey found that only 46% of primary teachers thought their workload was fair and only 38% thought their
work-related stress was manageable. A quarter thought their workload was so high that they could not do justice to the
students they taught.
"These issues are interlinked. The more time teachers have to work on building relationships with students exhibiting
extreme behaviour, the better the outcomes will be," says Mr Rutherford.
"Ultimately the measures we take in schools won't fix the underlying societal issues that contribute to extreme
behaviour. This shows just how important it is that the government continues to invest in a wellbeing approach and be
bold in tackling child poverty and domestic violence."
New Zealand Educational Institute
NZEI Te Riu Roa members work in every community in New Zealand, leading and advocating for quality public education.
We are the 50,000 principals, teachers and support staff who work in primary, area and secondary schools as well as
early childhood centres, special education and school advisory services. We come together as NZEI Te Riu Roa - New
Zealand's largest education union, a Treaty based organisation and a powerful advocate for quality public education.
We have the most important job in New Zealand - educating for the future.