Press Release – NZEI
The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says Labour’s education policy is comprehensive and promotes high quality education for all children. 10th November 2011 For Immediate Use
Comprehensive policy to help deliver high quality education
The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says Labour’s education policy is comprehensive and promotes high quality education for all children.
It shows a major commitment to quality early childhood education by promising to restore funding cuts to more than 2000 services nationwide, reinstate the target of 100% qualified teachers, retain existing subsidies and fee controls for 20 hours ECE, as well as develop planned public ECE provision.
NZEI President Ian Leckie says that will help boost participation levels and be welcomed by those services and parents who have been hit hard by government funding cuts.
Labour’s policy also places some welcome importance on the role and value of school support staff by promising to provide them with training and it says it will work on the viability of centrally funding their positions.
That is in line with a recent report by NZEI, the Ministry of Education and the School Trustees Association which recommends that school leaders integrate support staff more effectively into teaching teams and provide more training. NZEI has also long argued that funding school support staff through school operations grants is flawed and needs to change.
“It is great to see Labour listening and taking on board some of those issues and reflecting them in their policy,” Mr Leckie says.
It has also listened to calls for full funding until the end of 2012 for quake-affected schools and ECE centres in Canterbury which have had significant roll drops. NZEI has repeatedly lobbied the government on this issue, saying that full funding is essential to support children and communities and to the region’s recovery.
Labour has already said that as part of its education policy schools would no longer be required to implement “National Standards”.
Ian Leckie says “we know that with the ongoing confusion and lack of confidence in the Standards, given a choice, schools would happily get rid of them”.
“High quality public education is a critical issue for all New Zealanders and we need policies that will help move our great education system forward”.