17 December, 2010
More platitudes from Tolley
It is ironic that education minister Anne Tolley is calling for “calm and constructive” negotiating when the government
has gone out of its way to provoke through silly game playing, PPTA president Kate Gainsford says.
“While it is pleasing to see the minister taking some kind of interest in the secondary sector, we still have unanswered
letters and little real engagement on any meaningful level.”
If the minister really cared about the larger picture for education in New Zealand she would be prepared to engage on
issues like class size and would support the professional parts of PPTA’s claim that are about creating learning
programmes to meet the diverse needs of students, she said.
Gainsford understood that industrial action impacted on schools, communities and the government.
“The moderate action that has been taken should be enough for the government to recognise the value of the services
teachers provide – but evidently that has not yet been the case. The government needs to deal with genuine concerns
about teaching and learning conditions rather than hiding behind empty rhetoric if we are to avoid intensified action in
There were serious questions around the funding of secondary education that would impact on the economy, Gainsford said.
“More senior students will be returning to school because of fewer jobs available and universities capping numbers.
There is a high risk these students will be returning to large class numbers. We should have these students as our
ultimate priority. It is these students that will be our way out of the recession. They are a key component in a
productive economy and a 21st century skills strategy.
“Smart countries don’t cut education funding.”