Coming to Christchurch to teach, or put your children through school?
You may want to think again after official data published today showed there has been a net outflow of families and older workers from the quake stricken city,
“There was a net outflow of children and their parents from Christchurch after the earthquake, and fewer young adults arrived for study.”
Over the two year period, the number of children between the ages of zero to 19 decreased by 9300, while the number of people between 35 and 49 decreased by 5700..”source
This is perhaps why 38 schools are either being closed or consolidated, prompting what has been spun as a “shake up” (poor choice of words) of education in the Canterbury region last month,
PM defends Christchurch school closures.
Controversial plans to shake up Canterbury’s education system will change before they are finalised, Prime Minister John Key says.
In his first remarks since the planned school closures were announced, Key said changing demographics, costly repair bills and ministry research were behind sweeping proposals to close 13 schools and put 25 through some form of merger… more here.
The proposed changes have angered many, as has the overall lack of a consultative approach in the rebuilding of Christchurch. Principal John Bangma was shocked at how he was told of the forthcoming changes,
“ A Christchurch principal is appalled at how he and his colleagues were told their schools could close.
Principals are also upset they still have no idea about the rationale behind the proposals to close, merge and relocate their schools…”
One news report told how 500 principals were all brought together at a meeting in Lincoln hosted by Education Minister, Hekia Parata, and given coloured name badges to wear. They later found out the badges were colour coded according to the fate of their school.
“Linwood Intermediate School principal Lee Walker said he was appalled at the ministry’s handling of the event.
After hearing Parata speak about a $1 billion investment in education in the region, he was given a pack of information which told him his school was proposed to close.
“There was this stunned silence going around the room. You could feel the anger build in the room.”
There was no information in the pack about what he was supposed to do next and when the proposed closure could happen.
“There was a lot of anger from people about how we have been told and treated.”…” more here
Coincidentally, a relative of Parata has lodged a final approval to open a new school in Christchurch but the minister said there was “no conflict of interest“,
A new Christchurch school, which will be run by a relative of Education Minister Hekia Parata, is waiting on government approval.
The school, Te Pa O Rakaihautu, was endorsed by the ministry just weeks before work began on the overhaul of the city’s education in October last year.
The Press understands the final application is lodged and awaiting approval. Te Pa is chaired by Parata’s second cousin, Rangimarie Parata Takurua, sparking accusations from Labour of a conflict of interest.
It will be a character school, which is similar to a charter school. Both are state-funded and have the power to develop their own way of teaching… more here
And if all that wasn’t enough to stretch Canterbury’s already stressed teaching staff there are problems with their pay too. Read Pay system leaves teacher with just $4, Stuff, 18 October 2012,
“The $29 million Novopay system was rolled out in August. The Press was contacted by dozens of school staff yesterday complaining about the system.
Among those who expressed concern was a teacher who was paid just $41 for two weeks of fulltime teaching.
”I am stressed, sleep-deprived and feel completely undervalued as a teacher,” she said.
”I certainly don’t feel like the enthusiastic, effective teacher that I want to be four weeks before my students sit their exams.”
Two others said they were waiting on substantial amounts of holiday pay.
Another two said they had not been paid for short-term relief work before the school holidays that began at the beginning of the month…”
Suggested further reading
Does this feel like the caring, socially inclusive country that you’d like it to be?
We’d like to hear from people in the education sector, or parents affected by these changes. Tell us how they are affecting you and your family. We’d also like to hear from people intending to migrate to Christchurch and would like to give them the opportunity to ask questions about education in the region,
From the comments section on YouTube
Anyone in India that happens to stumble upon this video take note. Ever see those ads in newspapers that say study in UK, NZ, Australia, Canada, spot admissions, etc – don’t trust them. Don’t trust what the agent
says and do your own research. You wouldn’t imagine it but some of the providers that they send you to are pretty substandard. The agent paints a very rosy picture, telling you about easy entry, shorter duration,
cheaper courses, the possibility of getting job & PR afterward.
The first ever National Standards results for reading, writing and maths in primary schools have been released in New Zealand.
It’s not a comprehensive list and 188 schools either haven’t submitted data or it was ‘incomplete’. 25 schools have refused to participate, prompting Education Minister, Hekia Parata, to issue a stern rebuke, saying
“Schools are Crown entities, not secret societies. They are public institutions funded by public money to do a public job.”
It’s early days yet and there is no way to tell if the acceptable standards of one school are equivalent to the acceptable standards of another, but it’s a start and will give parents their first ever tool for judging how schools improve year on year. As yet there are no national standards for humanities, science or the arts.
You can download the data here http://schoolreport.stuff.co.nz/index.html
High error rate in National Standards marking
Doubts have been cast over the validity of the data provided by some schools. Glaring ‘inconsistencies’ have been found, due to ‘errors’ in the way teachers had marked the tests.
According to a new report for the Ministry of Education
“The study collected information about teachers’ ability to rate individual pieces of student work in relation to the National Standards, and to collate several pieces of assessment evidence that had already been rated against the standards to make an OTJ (overall teacher judgement). Student OTJ data was also used to provide information about the dependability of teachers’ OTJs.
• There was considerable variability in the accuracy of teachers’ ratings against the National Standards for individual work or assessment samples. In writing, accuracy ranged from 3% to 89% over the samples, while accuracy in mathematics ranged from 18% to 90%. This is a cause for concern as it is these individual judgements that are the basis of OTJs.
• Most teachers were able to collate four pieces of assessment evidence, each of which had been previously rated by experts, against the standards to make an accurate OTJ.
• Large positive shifts were observed for those students rated ‘below’ or ‘well below’ the standards in 2010. For example, approximately 60% of students rated ‘well below’ in 2010 received an improved rating in 2011. Given evidence from the assessment scenarios, and the magnitude of the changes observed, it is most likely the shifts in the data are attributable to teacher inconsistency in making OTJs.
• Aggregated reading, writing, and mathematics OTJs for 16,111 students were consistent with results from 2010. Demographic patterns in these data were in line with other evidence of student achievement in New Zealand, due to the large sample size that tends to cancel out random error in individual OTJs.
You can read the full report here http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1210/NationalStandardsSchoolSampleMonitoringandEvaluationProject2011.pdf
If the teachers can’t even get the test right, what chance do the kids stand?
The first ever National Standards for reading, writing and maths have been released in New Zealand. It’s not a comprehensive list and some schools are conspicuous by their absence.
It’s early days yet and there is no way to tell if the acceptable standards of one school are equivalent to the acceptable standards of another, but it’s a start and will give parents their first ever tool for judging how schools improve year on year.
As yet there are no national standards for humanities, science or the arts.
You can download the data here http://schoolreport.stuff.co.nz/index.html
Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales, first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand taken from locations around the net.
Today’s tale was first published on an emigration forum.
The author is an expat living in the South Island, and tells of the difficulties that immigrant teachers have securing employment. The impending redundancies of staff in Christchurch Schools is making an already bad situation worse.
If you are intending to emigrate to New Zealand to take up a teaching position you may find the following information, especially the catch-22 situation of provisional registration, useful.
If you are a parent, or student seeking an NZ education, you may find the comments about the high-school qualification NCEA of interest and wish to investigate this further for yourself.
Hi I have been in NZ for 3 years and just thought I would share my teaching experiences here in NZ.
Basics: UK qualifications accepted and assessed at top of Primary salary scale.
I have had a few short term contracts but most of the time it is relief work for me. Living in the South so very difficult to secure permanent contract with so many teaching jobs lost last December and it looks like many more will go in Christchurch area over the next few months. Some school roles have dropped by 25% or more. Teachers who loose their job will be offered 30 weeks paid work while they find alternative
employment or they can choose to retrain and be paid for up to 30 – 40 weeks. (They must foot the cost of their course).
It is difficult to get permanent work in the South and many BOTs (ed. Boards of Trustees) are only considering NZ qualified. I have applied for 57 positions – no interviews!
I was a Deputy Head in the UK and I knew my income would drop in NZ – I was also prepared to step down the ladder. I have found that being well qualified and experienced can be a real set back here in NZ.
Two comments that have been made in staff rooms in my presence:
“UK teachers don’t understand NZ kids”
“We don’t need overqualified poms here”
All taken on the chin as I have worked with some really good NZ teachers and I try to keep it in context.
I have worked in some good schools here in NZ and some that have worried me. Professional standards (Primary / Early Years) in general are not the same as in the UK so it can be frustrating but I have learned to be
more selective in my relief work and I am working with a few good schools / ECEs.
I have also been caught like many others in the catch 22 position of provisional – full registration. So even after 3 years I have been unable to secure full registration, at least it has not related to my salary and I get the full $70877
Taking a course in Te Reo helps you to fit in too.
I will be returning to the UK in Jan 2013 as I have secured a Deputy position which has given me hope. I have had real low professional self esteem and moral for the past 18 months. I have enjoyed the experience of living and working in NZ but it is time to move on.
I have found that Education has its positives and negatives here just like the UK. I have no evidence that one system is better than the other but the statistics that place NZ in 7th place on the OCED list for education are a bit suspect when you take the following into account Governments provide the data to OCED)
NCEA assessment scandal revealed
Monday, 13 June 2011, 4:56 pm
13 June 2011
NCEA assessment scandal revealed
NCEA markers and moderators are being told to “fudge the figures” for the Minister of Education, a shocked insider reveals in the July issue of North & South.
The message to moderators was clear, says the veteran teacher and marker: fudge the figures or risk losing your jobs – and risk exposing massive flaws and unfairness in the way grades are awarded to students on their NCEA internal assessments.
Scaling, cheating and manipulating marks… writer Deborah Coddington uncovers another sorry chapter in New Zealand’s troubled NCEA examination and internal assessment system.
What I have learnt is that nothing is as good as it seems!
If you considering teaching here in NZ do your homework. North Island is probably your best option.