New education minister, Nikki Kaye, who took over from Hekia Parata on Monday, is already under the pump from teachers’ unions anxious to have key issues resolved.
NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart says the proposed replacement of the decile system by a predictive risk index is one of the most pressing issues facing the new minister.
“This is something we absolutely must get right and we still have a number of concerns about the privacy of children and families in regards to how the data is used.
“Also, the education funding shortfall must be addressed as part of any changes. Schools of every decile are struggling to meet the needs of their students under current budget levels – if a changed system means more funding for some and less for others, that’s going to hurt a lot of children.”
One of the other top issues in education is pay equity, says Ms Stuart, with mediation currently underway for Education Support Workers employed by the ministry to work with ECE children needing additional learning support.
“Education is the next big area for pay equity claims. Education support workers are paving the way for other women working in education. Thousands of women working as teacher aides, and support staff in schools, are next in line for pay equity talks, with ECE teachers close behind,” said Ms Stuart.