A new poll shows that voters are unimpressed with the government’s handling of education so far, highlighting the importance of getting the 2014 Budget right this week.
The NZEI-commissioned poll of 400 people found that 38 per cent of those polled reported being less likely to vote National because of its handling of education. Another 19 per cent were more likely to vote National and it made no difference for 43 per cent of voters.
NZEI Te Riu Roa President Judith Nowotarski said that 95 per cent of those polled agreed with the statement: “Investment in education is an investment in our children’s future – public education must be and remain the first priority of any New Zealand Government.”
The poll showed strong levels of concern (41 per cent) about the Government imposing a business model on education.
“New Zealanders have made it very clear that education is their number-one priority, but this government seems more focused on silencing teachers and pushing through policy without consulting those who will have to implement it,” she said.
“This poll shows that when it comes to education, this government has lost not just the confidence of the teaching profession, but the wider public as well. In the poll, 42 per cent of voters rated the government listening to teachers, principals and school boards as a top concern.”
The Government’s $359 million Investing in Educational Success policy, which was dumped on the sector without warning in January, is becoming increasingly unpopular. Based on research of what parents and teachers believe should be priorities, NZEI will be releasing an alternative plan for prioritising investment in education before tomorrow’sBudget.