New Zealand First says changes to education policy must take into account students in disadvantaged areas, and those in rural isolation who cannot access many of the support services available to their urban counterparts.
This follows today’s pre-Budget announcement which will see the Government introduce bigger class sizes and performance pay for teachers.
New Zealand First Education spokesperson Tracey Martin says investment in teacher performance is important in providing better education but awarding performance pay must be done with caution.
“There is a danger that this will create an environment where the best teachers are reluctant to teach at poorly performing schools because it would limit their earning ability.
“If the model for performance pay is based on business concepts of winners and losers then the sharing of ideas and initiatives will be seriously impacted.”
Tracy says it’s essential all students are taught by well-trained teachers in classrooms which have a lower student-teacher ratio.
“In all my interactions with parents not one of them has suggested that class size is not relevant to their child’s learning. Teachers may have to learn crowd-control.”
She says she will await with interest the detail of how the Government will define good teacher performance.
“The devil will be in the detail. Will it be solely on academic results?
“Or will it incorporate other important aspects such as teachers who give up their free time to coach sports teams, look after school orchestras, or direct school plays?” says Mrs Martin.
Source: New Zealand First.