June 10, 2021
Big changes mooted for primary school staffing
A new report on primary school staffing says more targeted resource is needed to strengthen Māori and Pasifika education.
The Pūaotanga report was prepared for NZEI Te Riu Roa by an independent panel of education experts chaired by Steve Maharey and including Whetū Cormick, Dr Cathy Wylie, and Peter Verstappen.
Bold changes to staffing are needed to address equity issues preventing children reaching their potential.
It says current staffing is not fit for purpose, and that children are missing out due to high student-teacher ratios, teachers' lack of time to adequately prepare for teaching, and inadequate specialist staffing resources.
Recommendations include increasing classroom release time to give teachers and teacher aides more time for planning, and progressively lowering student to teacher ratios to a level where they align with the lower secondary school years, with further lowering of ratios in Māori medium settings.
The panel also wants to see more targeted financial support for people on low incomes who are training to become teachers in Māori medium settings, a boost to the Māori Immersion Teaching Allowance, and the introduction of a Pacific Immersion Teaching Allowance.
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