Teachers and educators have huge hope that the new Labour-led government will herald the rebuilding of New Zealand’s public education system and restore our children’s birthright to a free, world-class education.
Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First have all promised to restore funding for schools and early childhood education, and scrap discredited policies such as National Standards and charter schools.
“This new government is an opportunity to make children a priority once again,” said NZEI president Lynda Stuart. “Our children deserve the best education in the world, New Zealand can afford to provide it, and it’s time to give it to them.
“NZEI members will hold the new government to account for its promises to children and to those who work in education.
“We anticipate making real progress on our two key priorities for next year – achieving pay equity for support staff, support workers and ECE teachers, and fixing the teacher shortage through getting better pay and more time for teachers to teach and for principals to lead.”
Educators also expect action on the key education policies, which all three parties have promised, including:
- A funding jolt for schools, which have been increasing parent donations dramatically in order to cope with the shortfall.
- Dramatically increasing the number of children funded to receive additional learning support – thousands of kids are currently missing out.
- Better and more culturally appropriate support for Māori and Pasifika learners.
- Centrally funding support staff so schools aren’t forced to cut back on learning support for children when their budgets are tight.
“After nine years of neglect and deliberate underfunding, fixing school and early childhood education will not be easy and it won’t be cheap. But all our children are worth it,” Ms Stuart said.