There is a growing crisis in education. Even when the economy is going well it never seems to be the right time to look at significant needs in education (or health). What is this growing crisis then....?
a 40 % drop in people training to be teachers in the last 4 years;
30% of teachers leave in their first 6 years;
over half of the teachers in New Zealand are over 50 - and you couple that with a growing number of school-aged children as our population grows.
Principals used to receive over 70 applications for a job, now you are lucky to get 5 - and often most of those are beginning teachers.
Schools are struggling to find enough staff (relievers or permanent) to teach classes and they are having to increase class sizes. We are lucky at Pegasus Bay School that we have not had to do this yet.
The job is now far more complex with a growing number of children with significant social, emotional or behaviour needs. There is also a desperate need for more diagnosis and support for children with additional learning needs. We would love more staffing to support our SENCO (special needs coordinator) to support us more in the classroom.
This is what we are campaigning for:
More teachers – so your kids can get more attention. We have asked for a ratio of 1:25 instead of the current 1:29 for years 4-8.
More resources/staff to support children with additional learning needs. We have asked for every school to have the staffing and resourcing for a SENCO.
A pay jolt to salaries for teachers to address the teacher shortage – so that your children and children’s children will have a teacher in the future.
There hasn’t been a strike for over 20 years. You may not have noticed that during the recent stop work meetings, we stayed open at Pegasus Bay because we are conscious of disruption to parents. This time though it is unavoidable and we apologise if you are inconvenienced, but desperate times call for desperate measures.