Teachers want say on new council

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 10/04/2014

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Taranaki's secondary school teachers are concerned the Government's proposal to establish a new education council will have a negative impact on the profession.

Yesterday, more than 200 Taranaki secondary teachers gathered at Stratford High School to discuss the issue at the Post-Primary Teachers' Association union meeting.

The Government is proposing to establish the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand, Educanz, to replace the New Zealand Teachers' Council, NZTC.

Taranaki PPTA regional chairwoman Erin MacDonald said teachers wanted a practising teacher on the board.

"The Government said there may or may not be a teacher governing the board."

Novopay, charter schools and the Government's $359 million education investment plan was also discussed at the meeting.

"But Educanz was the main reason for the meeting," MacDonald said.

New Plymouth Boys' High School principal Michael McMenamin said he felt there should be teacher representation on the education council.

"Those representatives should be elected by teachers.

"I think that group should make up half the council and the other half should be appointed by the minister," he said.

McMenamin also said the Teachers' Council has the "confidence of the teachers" as it makes it clear to teachers what "good teaching practices" were, as well as the standards expected of the profession.

The Education Ministry said Educanz was a "cornerstone" of the Government's programme to "raise the status of the profession".

However, PPTA president Angela Roberts said the bill's intention was not to "raise the status of teaching" but to remove "professional autonomy".

"There'll be no elected or union positions," Roberts said. "No guarantees there'll be any practising teachers or principals on the council."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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