I wish to respond to the editorial (Wednesday, April 9) on the Government's new Teachers Council.
OPINION: I am concerned that Educanz is being promoted using the highly emotive issue of disciplinary procedures, that are important, but are only one part of the body's responsibilities.
There are many unclear and worrying aspects related to this new body and we need to appreciate the political context behind them.
The education sector has had many changes forced on it in an attempt to fix a system that wasn't seriously broken. Most have been implemented with minimal consultation, unnecessary haste and often-disastrous consequences (Christchurch school closures and Novopay for example).
The Government clearly wants to replicate systems that have failed in other countries and some, like increasing class sizes, have been strongly rejected by New Zealand parents.
The New Zealand Educational Institute is not averse to change but we do think that there needs to be proper collaboration and consultation between the Government, the teaching profession and school communities.
We also believe that decisions should be made in the best interests of our children and that hasn't always occurred.
Teachers have serious concerns about a statutory body governed by political appointees.
If such an organisation is to truly lead the profession it must be independent of both government and union interference and must have credibility and the respect of those it represents.
It is also inappropriate to open the door for a whole new category of unqualified teachers, as is planned, this wouldn't be acceptable in our health system and it shouldn't be for education.
New Zealand Educational Institute
- The Southland Times