Green Party ticks the boxes for quality public education

Press Release – NZEI

The Green Party’s just released education policy is a welcome endorsement of quality public education, says the education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa. 3 November 2011
For Immediate Release

Green Party ticks the boxes for quality public education

The Green Party’s just released education policy is a welcome endorsement of quality public education, says the education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa.

Not only are the Greens committed to a fully-funded public education system, but they would drop the controversial “National Standards”, re-establish the target for 100% qualified staff in early childhood, increase school operational funding, and support pay parity and professional development for teachers.

“The Greens’ policy reflects a sound understanding of what makes a quality public education system and what puts it at risk,” says NZEI President Ian Leckie.

“It clearly recognises the dangers of the flawed National Standards for schools, students and communities and has listened to the ongoing opposition. Any promise to remove National Standards will be welcomed by schools which are struggling to implement them or are being forced to comply”.

NZEI says it is also refreshing to see the Green Party acknowledging the importance of quality early childhood education by promising to reinstate the target of 100 percent qualified staff. The target was removed by the government which says 80 percent qualified teachers is ‘good enough’.

Ian Leckie says “our youngest children deserve the best and having 100% qualified staff is a hallmark of quality education. We would hope the Greens commitment on this would also see them pushing for a restoration of the government funding cuts to those ECE services which have more than 80 percent qualified teachers”.

The Greens’ support for more resourcing of schools through higher operational funding will be music to the ears of school support staff. They are funded through school operational funding which offers them little job security as schools juggle their funding around tight operational budgets.

“Overall the Greens educational policy ticks the boxes for commitment to quality public education,” Mr Leckie says.

ENDS

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