Crisis of competence not about money

Published: Mon 4 Oct 2004 08:18 AM
Crisis of competence not about money
Bigger cash payments to senior teachers will not solve the crisis of confidence among new teachers, says National’s Education spokesman Bill English.
The Education Minister has agreed to increase payments to senior teachers who supervise and support new staff.
Mr English claims this is in response to an Education Review Office report showing that half of new secondary teachers and a third of new primary teachers are not performing.
“It suits the Government and the unions to believe that the problem will be solved with more money, but the parents of the 20,000 children taught by ineffective teachers will not see this as a solution,” says Mr English.
“This crisis of confidence has been caused by inadequate teacher training. A bigger cash payment to supervising teachers won’t make a competent teacher out of an incompetent graduate.
“When between one third and one half of education graduates do not have the necessary degree of competency it’s fairly obvious that training exit standards are too low.
“Some people will have the competence to graduate after three years, but, for others, training will take longer.”
“New teachers don’t exist in a vacuum and they don’t suddenly become competent at the beginning of year three. The Government should set higher standards to ensure that every new teacher is competent in the classroom.
“The Education and Science select committee has an opportunity to look at this report in detail as part of its inquiry into teacher training.
“Every child deserves a competent and effective teacher every day,” says Mr English.

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