Teacher staffing to be reviewed by new ministerial advisory group

Educators are welcoming the new Ministerial Advisory Group Reviewing School Staffing in the hopes it will address long-standing issues.

Last week, an announcement was made on the new Ministerial Advisory Group Reviewing School Staffing.  

The group will carry out research and return a report within three months to address the question: “what skills and staffing are required across schools to deliver on the purpose of education as set out in the Education and Training Act and the National Education and Learning Priorities.” 

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The advisory group is composed of education experts with a thorough understanding of the sector and its funding models. It is chaired by Dame Karen Sewell, who has had extensive experience with the ERO, NZQA, the MoE and the secondary schools sector. Other members include tertiary education experts, school board members and of course, principals with diverse experience across New Zealand’s schools.  

The group was established following the collective agreement negotiations between unions and MoE earlier this year. NZEI Te Riu Roa President Mark Potter said the union was determined to address staffing issues in the sector.  

“Teachers’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions. Teachers and principals I speak to across the country are all really clear that staffing, and better learning support, are fundamental issues we need to fix in order to really benefit the learning of tamariki.”   

The union said that it was committed to improving conditions for teachers, pointing to the recently won increase to classroom release time –the first increase in classroom release time since 2005.  

As a next step, the union wants to address classroom sizes. In a press release, NZEI Te Riu Roa said “Smaller class sizes are one of the most important steps we can make to improve learning in primary schools”.  

Naomii Seah

Naomii Seah is a writer and journalist from Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. She enjoys crochet, painting, and a coffee or two at the beach. Her work can be found at The Spinoff, The Pantograph Punch, Stuff, and of course, School News NZ.
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