An Auckland-based education advocacy group says last week’s announcement that the new Education Council will be led by people appointed only by the Ministry of Education is alarming, and demonstrates a lack of faith in and support for New Zealand’s teachers.
We welcome the change to ensuring at least five members of the new Education Council will be registered teachers, but we are deeply concerned that despite overwhelming advice to the contrary, the Select Committee is refusing to allow any of the members to be elected by the profession. Instead, all will be Ministerial appointees.,î COMET Auckland chief executive Susan Warren said.
A decision of this nature would be completely unacceptable for a professional body in any other field. The Education Council needs to have credibility, expertise and independence so it can act in the interests of learners without being swayed by political pressures.
It is hard to see how that can be achieved unless at least a few positions on the council are appointed by the profession. The Education Council has potential to make a real difference for education in New Zealand, with its broader goals and powers than the current Teachers Council. However, the Education Council can only be effective if it has the confidence of the profession.
The announcement indicates that the Minister has lost all faith in our nation’s teachers – hardly a positive sign for the future of education, Ms Warren said.