Posts by Jane Blaikie

Support Staff campaign underway

Sign the petition! In May, the National Government froze the already-stretched school operations grant that pays for support staff wages and other essential school running costs. A campaign is underway to stop the funding freeze and win a fair deal for support staff. It’s called “Better funding for support staff, Better learning for kids”. It’s running…

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They're speaking French in Millers Flat

With little previous experience, Hilary Spedding, principal of rural Millers Flat Primary, has introduced a French language programme for her 21 senior students. “Seniors will be learning French”. The small item in the first school newsletter of the year marks a milestone for small Millers Flat Primary School in the rural Central Otago region, where…

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Hooton hears a fairytale

Matthew Hooton’s extraordinary attack on teachers in today’s National Business Review sits behind a pay wall but here’s a taste: First, he creates a fairy tale, saying about the profession that:  it’s not possible to “ease out Miss Jones and Mrs Smith, who have been teaching the new entrants for 30 years, to replace with three younger…

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By speaking out, teachers defend children

Good morning David I was saddened to hear your smarty-pants sound-bite response to a serious education issue when you spoke to RNZ this morning. As a parliamentarian, you should display good sense, leadership, wisdom and diplomacy. Instead you attack the teaching profession. Your website says the ACT Party stands for a “compassionate nation”. And yet…

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Joint campaign for better funding

The government’s plans to introduce bulk-funding to schools, and to ditch equity funding in ECE, will meet strong resistance in coming months. Today, PPTA and NZEI member leaders announced the two professional organisations will work together to oppose the government’s radical changes to school and ECE funding. Bulk-funding for schools will incentivise school leaders to…

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Workload: the problem is the problem (not you)  

Three teachers from Raroa Intermediate School.

[g1_block] Giveaway Win a Workplace Survey from NZCER, worth up to $500. Teachers fill in an anonymous, online survey. NZCER provides a report that indicates, among other things, the state of staff morale and pressure points. Use it to build a better workplace culture. To enter, visit the Giveaways page. [/g1_block] “We don’t want exhausted teachers,”…

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Education reform: the new bulk-funding?  

A tight piggy bank

The government is floating radical changes to school and ECE funding, including a new form of bulk-funding for schools, as part of its Education Funding Review. Last term, government invited a group of sector leaders, including NZEI president Louise Green, to join the review as an Advisory Group. However, instead of being asked to give…

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Ministry’s response to ECE injury leaves parents shocked

'Rachel', 'Stephan' and 'Girgio' (names have been changed)

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare – and for Rachel* it came true. Rachel left son Stephan, aged 23 months, at his centre at 8am. The phone call came an hour later – “there’s been an incident and you need to come and drive Stephan to the hospital”. No details. No explanation. “When I got there…

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The trubil wiv foniks in speling

A collection of wooden letters

An increasing number of New Zealand schools are now moving away from ‘whole language’ theories of how children learn to read and spell and re-introducing phonological awareness programmes instead. This shift is not actively promoted by the Ministry of Education as it applies to writing and spelling skills as exemplified by its recently issued PaCT…

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