Teaching group against new council
Southland teachers have rallied against proposed changes to the Education Act, including the creation of a new professional body.
About 400 members of the Southland Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) met yesterday in Invercargill to discuss the Education Amendment Bill (No 2).
The bill proposes a new independent professional body for teachers, the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (Educanz), in place of the Teachers Council.
The bill was first read in Parliament in March and submissions on the amendment close on April 30.
PPTA Southland regional chairman Terry McNamara said the Southland chapter of the association had yesterday passed a motion declaring its opposition to the proposed changes.
The association believed the new body would have too much policing power, including around the naming of teachers facing disciplinary inquiries, which could jeopardise "natural justice".
Educanz would also not include enough representation of teachers, as its members would be appointed by the education minister, McNamara said.
The PPTA understood the need to have a regulatory body, but did not agree with the proposal.
"We've got a teachers council - if it aint broke, don't fix it.
"We just believe what they're doing is not good for us and eventually won't be good for the kids."
Earlier this month, Education Minister Hekia Parata said the changes to the Act were part of a three-year process, drawing on international experience and widespread consultation.
The bill would improve teacher registration, enhance reporting requirements, and provide a greater range of options when dealing with disciplinary matters, she said.
Southland PPTA members were the first in the country to meet about the issue, with members across the country planning to hold meetings today, tomorrow and Thursday.
- The Southland Times
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