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Give us more teaching time, say schools

Teachers’ union NZEI Te Riu Roa says new national educational surveys confirm claims that teachers and principals are being denied the time to teach and lead, and that children’s education is suffering as a result.

The surveys by the New Zealand Council of Educational Research (NZCER) revealed that although teachers and principals are working longer hours, they are so consumed with paperwork that children’s education is suffering.

Teachers had noticed a dramatic decrease in children’s abilities in “key competencies” since the last survey, says NZEI, including taking risks in their learning, different ways of looking at things and taking part in hands-on activities.

“New Zealand children deserve the best education in the world, and New Zealand can afford to provide it to them,” said NZEI president Lynda Stuart.

“These surveys show children are missing out on some opportunities to learn because teachers and principals are bogged down in administration or are struggling to get support for children with additional learning needs.

“The surveys reinforce our members’ call for teachers to be freed up to teach and principals given more time to lead so that every child can achieve their potential.

“The new government has an opportunity to fix the funding crisis that the previous government left behind, and finally do what works for children’s learning.

“Members have already indicated they’ll want action on time, and pay in their collective agreement bargaining next year,” Ms Stuart said.

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