Union: School changes jumping the gun

  • 29/07/2015
Education Minister Hekia Parata (Simon Wong)
Education Minister Hekia Parata (Simon Wong)

The Government is jumping the gun by proposing reforms to school hours without talking to the industry, the country's largest teachers' union says.

The Government today announced it was mulling giving schools greater flexibility to set their opening hours and allowing principals to be in charge of more than one school.

But NZEI national president Louise Green said it was worrying the Government had floated the ideas without talking to schools and communities about their concerns.

"We know the Government is considering wide-sweeping changes to the legislation that include the way schools are funded as well as reforms around varying opening hours and principals running several schools," she said.

"But the Government is jumping the gun and we need to have a sector-wide discussion before we consider going down these paths."

She said the Government should have known after problems with a plan to increase class sizes and its $359 million Investing in Educational Success scheme that consultation was key.

Education Minister Hekia Parata said she had been talking with groups in the education sector about ways to raise educational achievement and a number of proposals have ended up on the table.

They included:

The options were discussed at a ministerial cross-sector forum in May and an advisory group has subsequently been set up to look at them in more detail.

But any changes would likely require legislation and if that happens, there would be further consultation with the education sector.