web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

LB: EDUCANZ, Professionalism and Politics

Written By: - Date published: 11:18 am, April 17th, 2014 - 8 comments
Categories: education, national, same old national, schools - Tags: , ,

Local Bodies has this excellent post on the proposed changes to the Teachers Council that we are happy to repost for more comment.
When I first started teaching I spent a number of happy years in rural communities. In the early eighties all teachers were expected to teach in a ‘country’ school to enable them to get promotion. Country service was seen as an important part of our professional experience as we would have to teach a range of ages and be able to build positive relationships in the wider community. Primary Teachers were never paid particularly well in those days but I always found that the job was given considerable status and clergy, doctors and teachers were respected as the educated professionals in any community. Only a small proportion of the population had tertiary qualifications then and around 50% left school at 15-16 years of age.

When I started teaching, most teachers had a three year teaching diploma and no degree and now there are much greater academic expectations. Teachers colleges have merged with universities and most teachers now have degrees and many principals have a Masters. The journey to become a fully registered teacher generally involves three to four years of academic study to obtain a degree then at least two years as a pre-registered teacher working under an advice and guidance programme with an experienced mentor before becoming fully registered. It takes at least six years of teaching before a teacher can be considered an ‘experienced teacher’. For teachers to maintain full registration they must have regular professional appraisals based on documented professional criteria, this also requires a commitment to the teachers code of ethics and evidence of ongoing professional development.

My wife is a GP and when I compared her responsibilities and workload to mine, when I was a deputy principal, I was aware that the hours of work and extent of responsibilities were similar. In Finland the status of teachers is regarded as greater than a GP. The teaching profession in Finland have an excellent working relationship with the Government and any educational changes are developed and implemented collaboratively.

The status of teachers in New Zealand has dropped considerably since I started teaching despite the fact that qualifications and performance expectations are greater. Teachers work much longer hours now and the demands of planning and assessment mean that most full-time teachers work around 50 hours a week (when I was a DP 60-70 hours was not unusual). I would spend at least one day of most weekends at school and after leaving school between 5 and 6 pm I would often still work for a couple of hours in the evening. As an experienced teacher I often had children with high needs in my class and it was not unusual to have a couple with ORRS funding. This meant many after school meetings with specialist support and parents to develop and report on IEPs. Having children with high behaviour and learning needs in a class can increase a teacher’s work load considerably.

The New Zealand Teacher’s Council is the crown entity that is currently the professional and regulatory body for all teachers from early childhood through to most other educational institutions. The NZTC has done some excellent work in developing professional mentoring programmes, developing the Registered Teacher Criteria andmaintaining professional standards. It has done this with a relatively limited budget and unlike the Medical Council, which operates independently from the Government, theNZTC has 11 people on the Governing Council, but only 4 are independently elected by the profession, the rest are Ministerial appointees.

Parents and children should be served by professionals who are motivated and driven by the ethics and ideals of the profession and a duty of care that is not corrupted by political ideology. For doctors, the sanctity of their relationship with their patients is paramount and without high levels of confidentiality and trust they would often struggle to treat their patients when a full disclosure of their life-style and medical history is necessary. Teaching and learning should be about meeting the needs of each child based on the professional knowledge of the teacher and parents need the reassurance that their child’s interests come before politically driven expectations. To truly operate as a profession teachers need to have a teachers council that is independent of both the Government and unions.

I find it appalling that we have a Government that is deliberately and dishonestly undermining the teaching profession by suggesting that there is a crisis in teacher quality and discipline and that political measures are needed to solve it. The idea of a teacher using their position to abuse children is every bit as abhorrent for teachers as it is for the general public and yet there is the encouraged perception that the profession deliberately protects such people and that there is a widespread problem of offending teachers. The facts tell a different story.

There are more than 103,000 registered teachers in New Zealand and in the last financial year 59 were brought in front of the disciplinary tribunal and the majority were removed from the Teachers Register and barred from teaching. This means that probably less than .05 of teachers have behaved badly enough for the most serious consequences and not all of those would be sexual in nature. When you compare teaching with other jobs, then teaching has fewer complaints than most.

It seems overly heavy handed to use misconduct as the driving reason to change the current Teachers Council. If that was the case then some adjustments to current practice and the existing body is all that would be necessary. Instead we have a whole new entity that will have all those on the Governing Council being appointed by the Minister of Education.

The NZTC exists for regulating teachers and maintaining professional standards but theEducation Council of Aotearoa New Zealand will also be giving status to unqualified teachers. Where jobs are difficult fill unqualified people with limited authority to teach (LATs) are currently allowed to fill the positions until a qualified person is found. Under EDUCANZ  LATs will be recognized as teachers and the expectation that they are only temporarily filling a role will be removed. With Charter Schools and Early Childhood Education it is no longer an expectation that all teachers need to be registered and qualified.

We now have a Ministry of Education that is under the beck and call of the Minister, and where political ideology determines policy, and shortly we will have a new Teachers Council that will be governed only by political appointees. Already the Chair of the Transition Board, John Morris, has produced a paper promoting that teachers should be paid according to the performance of their children (National Standards) that reflects the ideology of the Government and is not supported by the wider profession.

Under a National led Government, teachers will lose any professional independence and become classroom technicians that have to support politically prescribed programmes and data collection. Children will not have teachers who exist to meet their individual needs but be forced meet whatever targets the Minister feels necessary to set for them. Any teacher accused of misconduct is likely to be named and shamed before guilt is proven, which will possibly see many of the remaining males in the primary sector forced out of the job through the stress of false accusations (I know few male teachers who have not had a malicious complaint about them at some stage in their career).

Anyone want a career in teaching?

8 comments on “LB: EDUCANZ, Professionalism and Politics”

  1. Chooky 1

    Very good post

    …Labour and the Left must turn around and reverse the way John Key and NACT is going with education….which is really following a right wing American privatising model which has been found to undermine standards, teachers, education and egalitarianism in the United States

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Ravitch

    http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/mar/27/new-york-charters-against-deblasio/

    ….in New Zealand this model is being driven not by professionals in the Ministry of Education or by the Minister or even by Treasury but by private Act aligned PR companies working for USA vested interests…and they have the ear of this NACT govt.

    imo the rot first set in with David Lange’s Rogernomics governemnt where parents were put in charge of running schools and BOTs in order to save money and the School Inspectorate was disestablished…in essence the professionalism of teachers and running NZ education was taken away from the educators

    Labour and the Left must not be seduced by the idea of Charter Schools and privatisation ….but listen to New Zealand education academics on the direction for NZ state free egalitarian education …..and go the way of Finland….the world leader in Public Education.

  2. Tracey 2

    excellent post. i have a dear friend in teaching and workload today reflects the authors experience over the same time period.

    the number of people brought in front of the council is tiny.

    nowhere near the same scrutiny is given to police conduct and training and education.

  3. feijoa 3

    I hear Bill English is the man behind all this and Hekia is just the puppet

    The whole name and shame thing – teachers should have the same rights as any other accused member of society – innocent until PROVEN guilty

  4. Jrobin 4

    Thanks for this informative post. I agree with your conclusions. This is the most profound change to the role, registration and professional qualifications of teachers in recent times and it is being sneakily introduced before the Election. the New Zealand Curriculum which is full of potential is being sacrificed to the Privatisation Agenda of these ideologues who are running the country and is not just of interest to teachers . Parents should be afraid as this model is failing children in the U K and USA, the models of this system. Education as control seems to be the aim. We should all resist these changes.

    • Rodel 4.1

      Yet another semi secret underhand change toward USA style education, sneakiness largely unnoticed by the voting public.
      I’d like to see Labour state emphatically which of the ACT -Key education policies they will reverse.
      (e.g. Charter schools will close).
      Teachers are despondent and would welcome some definite policy in favour of real education.
      One idea seems to be that students at all levels will sit at tablets and teachers will simply facilitate for large numbers on line.
      Tertiary students I know are already annoyed at paying good money for polytechnic courses, made to study in front of computer screens and rarely interact personally with a real tutor.

      Another person I know in a private education business said this is the format that the government wants to encourage right down into primary schools..but teacher’s unions and school authorities haven’t realised it is already happening.

      • Chooky 4.1.1

        +100…”I’d like to see Labour state emphatically which of the ACT -Key education policies they will reverse.(e.g. Charter schools will close)”

        AGREED!!! I also would like to see an emphatic statement of policy on Labour’s part!

        …The Labour Party should be taking a real stand on this issue…after all the original socialist workers who established the beginnings of the Labour Party set up a proud state funded education system that was free, secular and of the highest quality ….they stood on a matter of principle that there was to be no class system in education….it is was to be equal and free for all New Zealanders.

        …It is time the present Labour Party honoured this noble tradition in New Zealand education and made this an election issue.

  5. Will@Welly 5

    Five relatives in the teaching profession, including a very senior headmaster, have left the profession in the last 10 years due to the constant changes. A number of other people have also withdrawn from the profession, simply because being a teacher, is no longer about being a “teacher”. Too many hats to wear, too many agencies to answer to.
    Think Roger Douglas/Richard Prebble/Ruth Richardson – the list goes on – the neo-liberal takeover of the profession has destroyed our once vibrant education sector.

  6. kiwigunner 6

    And this very important issue gets no news coverage and only half a dozen comments here. It can only be that people trust our education system so much that they think it will be ok. Not this time.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Taxpayers not suckers when it comes to casino lemon
    The Government should not be asking New Zealanders to stump up extra cash to bail out John Key and Steven Joyce’s dodgy SkyCity convention centre deal, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. "A deal is a deal is a deal. SkyCity… ...
    5 days ago
  • Supreme Court decision an early Christmas present
    Women on low pay in New Zealand have been given an early Christmas present with yesterday’s decision by  the Supreme Court not to intervene in a decision of the Court of Appeal, says Labour's Spokesperson for Women's Affairs, Sue Moroney. … ...
    5 days ago
  • Dunedin Hospital needs more than drip feed
    An ongoing and embarrassing pattern of major building leaks and equipment failures at Dunedin Public Hospital has been revealed in papers released under the Official Information Act, Dunedin North MP David Clark says. “Documents released under the Official Information Act… ...
    6 days ago
  • Dunedin Hospital needs more than drip feed
    An ongoing and embarrassing pattern of major building leaks and equipment failures at Dunedin Public Hospital has been revealed in papers released under the Official Information Act, Dunedin North MP David Clark says. “Documents released under the Official Information Act… ...
    6 days ago
  • 17 too young for teens to be shown the door
    Laws which see young people under the care of CYFS abandoned once they turn 17 will mean at least a dozen young Kiwis will be left to fend for themselves over the December festive season, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda  Ardern… ...
    6 days ago
  • 17 too young for teens to be shown the door
    Laws which see young people under the care of CYFS abandoned once they turn 17 will mean at least a dozen young Kiwis will be left to fend for themselves over the December festive season, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda  Ardern… ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s albatross, taxpayers’ curse
    Government consideration of further corporate welfare hand-outs to SkyCity for its convention centre shows just how weak the original contract was, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “Taxpayers will be appalled to hear that on top of the humiliating… ...
    6 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    1 week ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    1 week ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    1 week ago
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki… ...
    1 week ago
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere