Tag Archives: News

Why No One Wants To Teach In NZ

Excellent article from Stephen May on Newsroom.

The ongoing dismissal of research-informed professional development demeans the teaching profession in NZ. But it doesn’t have to be like this, writes the University of Auckland’s Stephen May

Let’s face it – teaching in New Zealand is a low status profession. This perhaps explains why there seem to be fewer and fewer people who want to become teachers. It also explains the looming staffing crisis in Auckland, with young teachers, in particular, leaving the city in droves because their pay and career prospects are not sufficient to afford to continue to live there.

Recent analysis also shows that teachers only tend to stay in the job for about five years. They often leave because they are burnt out by the demands of teaching, an increasingly narrow and prescriptive curriculum, and by policy initiatives that promise much, deliver very little, and are quickly replaced by some “new” policy that is equally ineffective and short term.

No wonder it feels like ground zero out there for so many teachers.

Continue reading at: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@future-learning/2017/08/09/41927/why-no-one-wants-to-teach-in-new-zealand

Crisis in Teaching

Recent newspaper reports speak of a crisis in teacher supply, especially in Auckland. The high cost of housing was cited with at least one school indicating their interest in building their own houses to attract staff. Teacher unions have spoken of the need for an “Auckland Allowance” to top up salaries similar to the “London Allowance”. However, the same would have to apply to police, nurses and anyone living in Auckland.

There is a crisis in teaching and its reasons are many: increasing class and school sizes, increased compliance and accountability with a low trust model from the government and Ministry, especially under the previous Minister. But, perhaps the biggest cause of the teacher crisis in supply, retention and morale, is the increasing rate of harassment and bullying of our teachers.

Teacher well-being is under attack and it impacts on student learning. Bullying, harassment and violence against teachers and principals is on the rise. It is well documented in Australia but no so much in New Zealand. The favourite tool is via social media and is often anonymous. It should be noted that the NZ Police recently commented about negative attacks on their Facebook in Canterbury and medical organisations report similarly.

The NSW Auditor-General reported a 34% increase in 2015/16, in the number of claims resulting from allegations of bullying, harassment and violence (23.06.2017). The Australian Principals Occupational Health & Safety and Wellbeing survey of 4,000 principals found 41% had experienced threats of violence and 36% had experienced bullying (2016). Chris Presland, president of the NSW Secondary Principals Council says “Schools are very, very soft targets for anxious, stressed and unhappy parents” – far easier targets than other authority agencies. Teachers in Finland, Singapore, South Korea etc., enjoy greater levels of respect and “no one would dare abuse a teacher”. However, in Australasia there is “a feeling that we’ve got a right and capacity to say what we think”, but unfortunately some people take it too far. In the United States funnily enough, such issues are not as high due to the highly litigant nature of their society i.e. teachers sue.

Prof. Donna Cross, University of Western Australia wrote an excellent paper on “Teacher Wellbeing and Its Impact on Student Learning”. In a nutshell, morale drives teacher exodus. She cites some pretty powerful statistics:

  • 41% of Australian teachers report high levels of stress and make more mental stress claims than any other industry.
  • 40% of Australian school principals report feeling stressed or bullied.
  • One third of school principals experience an incident of physical assault.

The New Zealand data is much harder to find in that it doesn’t seem to be collected. However, a staff wellbeing and concerns survey was conducted with the staff at Matipo Primary School (2017). The findings were:

  • 25% of staff felt they didn’t feel safe from parents.
  • In relation to negative Facebook comments:
  • 85% felt hurt.
  • 92% lose enthusiasm or energy to contribute more.
  • In relation to positive parental Facebook comments:
  • 96% reported pride and confidence.
  • 74% felt keen to increase energy and enthusiasm.

Some comments from the survey included:

“We do more than ever for the children at this school, often at the expense of my own family”.

“We do more and it is appreciated less. The school had a glowing ERO report. The situation is depressing and it gets me down. I really don’t know what more we can do”

“We all work above and beyond our job descriptions for the children in our classes – which can often be destroyed by negativity towards us”.

“It would be great to see and hear more positive and supportive feedback from the community”.

Teacher supply is getting harder and quality teacher supply much harder. This school got an outstanding ERO report 12 months ago. The staff of this school do an outstanding job and the school has an outstanding reputation. It needs to be stressed that is just takes a few individuals to create the impression of an undermining of the school and staff. The fact is that the great majority of the school community, probably close to 99% are tremendously supportive of the school.

  • $20,000 of school donations paid to date.
  • $11,000 sales from the Book Fair.
  • $732 for the Child Cancer Society.
  • 80% attendance at the Learning Expo.
  • Wait list for out-of-zone admissions.

In summary, I am saying this is a school of excellence with really committed staff. They are well worthy of your positive support and I respectfully ask that you reflect on the influence that negative comments on Facebook cause.

Thank You!

Thank you to the following parents who have so wonderfully supported the school with their voluntary service for sushi distribution and for road patrols supervision.

Sushi: Diane Berben, Nicky Beazley, Tanya Howie, Lisa Hamilton, Tania Bowen, Vanessa Preston, Amanda Lowe, Anita Corcoran, Kim Schriefer, Alex Yovich, Natasa Vujnovich, Alexia Santamaria, Linda Crombie, Karen Bosnich-Wood, and Tori Cotton-Everitt.

Road Patrols: Debra Stuart, Lisa Biesheuvel, Talia Pilalis, Libby Clark, Trudi Bragg, Luke Reid, Bea Traub and Julie Ellis.

Also a special thanks to Navin Ramachandran, who has been hosting computer programming classes voluntarily over the last three years.

We really appreciate your support.

Paul Wright appointed as new Principal of Matipo Primary

5th July 2017

Dear Matipo community,

The Board of Trustees is delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Wright as the next Principal of Matipo Primary School. Paul will lead the school from the start of Term 4 this year.

Paul has been Principal of Clayton Park School in Manurewa for the past 13 years. Prior to this he was Associate Principal at Lincoln Heights School in Massey and before moving to to New Zealand in 1997, Paul held a variety of school management and teaching positions in the United Kingdom. Paul’s leadership is well recognised for building and sustaining high levels of student achievement at Clayton Park. He is respected for his commitment to quality professional development and the way he models, supports and coaches teachers. He has a passion for diving, sailing, music and the arts. Families at Clayton Park speak of the way he develops deep personal connections with whanau and the community. Paul and his wife Cathy live in Titirangi and their family are confirmed Westies at heart.

The Board felt that Paul’s vast experience as a principal in managing all aspects of his school, his proven track record of innovation and strategic thinking, and his high level of qualifications made him the best fit for our school. This appointment is the result of a rigorous and thorough recruitment process, guided by an external education consultant. Following the final interviews of shortlisted candidates, our Board was unanimous in this decision.

Paul says “It is an absolute honour to be given Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of such a strong and vibrant learning community. I am excited and looking forward to building on the traditions and strengths of the school, to lead Matipo into the future.”

This is a time of major transition for Matipo, and we would like to once again acknowledge Wayne Bainbridge for his outstanding years of leadership at Matipo Primary and the rich legacy he leaves behind. Discussion is underway to find an appropriate way to farewell Wayne at the end of Term 3 and details for this will be shared soon.

Nga mihi nui,
Vanna Blucher (Chair) and the Matipo Board of Trustees

Matipo History: Significant Events Last 30 Years

1988    School’s second fire destroyed the last classroom left from a permanent block roughly where the hall is.

1993    Major police issue around paedophile Peter Campbell. Security guards and police on site.

1994    Three new classrooms sank into the rugby field being delivered and had to be towed out by a bulldozer.

1995    Governor General Dame Catherine Tizard visited.

1998    Rt Hon Helen Clark visited to open new Admin Block.

1999    ‘Elvis’ Stankovich concert.

2000    Jonathan Hunt – Speaker NZ Parliament visited.

2002    Trip to Parliament to meet Speaker Jonathan Hunt who welcomed each child individually into the state dining room.

2006    Gold Coast Trip! Mrs Forgie taught every child to swim in the motel swimming pool.

2015    Hall fire!

Matipo History: Famous Visitors

Darren Liddel – Weightlifter
Eroni Clarke – All Black
Bob Harvey – Mayor
David Fane – Actor
Chris Carter – MP, Minister of Education
Debra Wai Kapohe – Soprano
Harry Ngata – Soccer Player
K-Lee – Singer
Oscar Kightley – Actor
Danny Hay – Soccer player
Noah Hickey – Soccer Player
Cindy Kiro – Children’s Commissioner
Winton Rufer – Soccer Player
Tamati Coffey – TV Presenter
Robert Rakete – Mai FM DJ
Jay Jay Feeney – The Edge DJ
Yvonne Willering – Netballer
Patrick Ah Van – Warriors Player
David Tua – Boxer
Louisa Wall – MP
Paul Ifill – Soccer Player
Ronald Suniula – USA Rugby
Mahe Drysdale – Rower
Sarah Couley – Olympian
Alfred Ngaro – MP
Siona Fernantez – Olympian
Maria Tutaia – Netballer