TEFANZ-NZEI ITE Meeting Nov.2019

Details of the TEFANZ and NZEI Te Riu Roa Meeting

Tomorrows schools

We discussed the impact the review of Tomorrows Schools may have on ITE providers. It was agreed stability in the system is needed. NZEI TRR had concerns around the original review in terms of the place of ITE.  ITE is part of the education eco-system and this system needs relationships across the sector. We agreed slow change is important, although concerns were raised around the reversing of changes should there be a change in government.  TEFANZ members were encouraged to view the Cabinet paper on Tomorrows schools.

  • One of the issues highlighted by the report is that trust needs to be rebuilt throughout the system. A reset is needed from highly devolved and fractured system to a connected system that is responsive to children’s needs.
  • The establishment of a new Education Service Agency which will provide more integrated, local support to schools will be introduced.   The restructuring of MOE needs to take place by 1 July 2020.  Regional offices will be disbanded, and the Education Service Agencies (ESA) will become the ‘go-to’ place for schools.  The ESA will be designed to be transformational with more decision rights and flexibility than current MOE regional offices. 
  • The Early Learning Plan should be out in the next couple of weeks.  There needs to be alignment between this and the Tomorrow’s Schools document. 
  • There will be a focus on leadership and stronger arrangements to underpin leadership. The Teaching Council will be invited to establish a Leadership Centre.  There will eligibility criteria for principal roles. There have been no Aspiring Principals’ courses for some time.  People can become principals without the knowledge and skills required.  Professional Learning Advisers are for beginning principals.  There are around 400 beginning principals. 
  • A deliberate plan of secondments into ESA roles or Professional Learning Development will increase the capability of support offered by the ESA.  ERO has started to bring people in on secondment to conduct reviews. The report does not signal progressing changes around ERO but wants to strengthen the capability of schools with regards to undertaking self- evaluation and for ERO to focus on system-level evaluation and review rather than on reviewing schools individually.
  • Principalship –the government want to increase incentives to attract highly capable principals to work in schools with more complex challenges.  This could replace principals being paid according to roll size.  
  • Enrolment schemes – while some people have spoken out, many are supportive of children being able to attend their local school. The ESA will be responsible for developing and consulting on enrolment schemes, not the Board of Trustees.
  • The ESA will take on the maintenance and management of school property.  Lynda affirmed that the role of a principal is about teaching and learning.  There will be some choice – if principals and boards are well set up, then they may be able to continue managing the property and maintenance at their school.
  • Moving forward for Māori – strengthening Te Reo and tikanga in schools. The government wants to further strengthen, develop and enhance the Māori Medium pathways for Māori Medium education.

Tomorrows Schools brought some good things to the table, but it is essentially a failed experiment.

Changes to the Teaching Council Registration Policy

  • The new registration and certification policy. There are likely to be major issues, especially in ECE around funding and ratios. The Teaching Council need to be aware of this. The two organizations agreed to keep each other in the loop as more issues may come to light.
  • The timing of moving to the online registration platform may create problems for beginning teachers who have just graduated.

NZEI Te Riu Roa work

  • For the first time ever, The ECE Voice Campaign is not just about union members fixing the pay gap.
  • Kindergarten teachers achieved parity without too many issues, but there are issues regarding the rest of the sector. There is pay difference of between 9 and 49% for those who have same qualifications and experience compared with the primary and secondary education sectors.  We are involving anyone who wants to be involved – member or not.  We have had nearly 11,000 responses.  Employers are with us on this journey.  They want to be able to pay people well, but don’t have the funding. The Attestation rate is the minimum rate for every ECE teacher in the country.  We are using this rate as a starting point to fix the gap.
  • Our aim is to unite the sector. It is a very diverse workforce who are often fighting each other for space. We are looking at areas of commonality to unite the sector.  Fairness and fair pay are somethings we all agree on. It is not just the ECE voice campaign that we are focussing on for ECE, but we also have the Mana Taurite campaign (Pay Equity). This campaign is highlighting the fact that ECE teacher’s work is not valued as it is seen as ‘women’s work’.  This pay equity work is well underway. 
  • The Early Childhood Education Collective Agreement is small in terms of the size of the sector.  (103 sites and 600-700 members).  The Attestations rate is critical to the whole sector. The ECE Voice Campaign is creating a space for people interested in ECE to talk about fair pay issues.  Teachers who are members, not members, other educators, employers (who also contacting us independently to support), parents, whānau.  Negotiations are on hold until the government comes to the table.  We know that the government can’t do everything, but we ned a pay jolt now.  Fewer people are training because of the lack of value of ECE teachers. The Fair Pay Plan aims to unite the sector.  Shelley asked TEFANZ to think about how they could be involved in the Campaign. Perhaps ECE trainees standing alongside their colleagues. A Petition was presented to Minister Chris Hipkins at our National Leadership Group meeting asking him to honour his commitment to 100% qualified ECE teachers, restoration of funding in real terms and better ratios in centres.  ECE is a priority for this government.  It is just too slow as some providers are experiencing an increase in the number of children enrolling in their centres.
  • Collective agreement negotiations and pay equity for support staff.  This is not just about remuneration, but about scope of their work. It is about enabling them to have PLD as of right and job security.   This is a challenging time of year for support staff and for principals.  Around 2/3 of support staff are employed fixed term – mostly not legitimate according to legislation.  90 % of support staff are paid less than living wage, and only paid for 40 weeks of the year.  Predominantly women.  Men in these roles are usually paid more.  How do we get the money to the people and how do we fix this long-term?   Entitlement for support staff should be within schools, out of ops grant in the main and having them centrally funded.  We are making progress in this area. 
  • ERO is looking at induction for overseas teachers.  One Auckland school had 11 overseas trained teachers in the school – who were new to the country this year.  There was not a huge uptake of overseas teachers by schools.  The report focuses on the quality of induction and long-term views around staying in NZ.  Some teachers went home early.  Some come on holiday visas who the principal is now supporting to get more permanent status.
  • Accord – result of PTCA and PPCA which is also impacting on ACTCA and ASPCA (and secondary colleagues).  Trying to find a way forward in bargaining negotiations.  We did not win for primary what we wanted, eg, in terms of time.  The cost of giving teachers an extra hour a week has a significant price tag.  Key areas – time (eight teacher only days over three years in school – not added to school year).  Schools should be able to work out how these should be used – it needs to be flexible.  Curriculum changes and curriculum in its broadest sense – teaching and learning and in the best interests of children.  In secondary, their teacher only days are tied to changes in NCEA – prescribed days over the next three years.
  • Appraisal – suggestion that appraisal is removed from legislation – should happen by the middle of next year. 
  • Leadership space fragmented – people making a huge amount of money from principal and leader appraisal (privatised) and other situations very casual.  Concerns about leaderships should be picked up through ERO and other mechanisms.  Need to support leaders.
  • Impacting on teachers and leaders – personalising learning, assessment, working with families and whanau and working with children with complex needs and professional learning and development.  The Governance Group is looking at these issues in-depth. 
  • Wellbeing – working with PPTA, NZPF, SPANZ and NZSTA to look at this.  The employee assistance programme (EAP) should be provided by government for individuals working in schools and services to access.
  • School leaders and teachers’ health and wellbeing survey out now.  35% of teachers have been “red-flagged”.  NB teachers who are really in need are probably not responding – lack of capacity.  Survey open until Sunday.  Timing is not great.  Next year timing will be better.  Things that have been normalised that are actually unhealthy – eg lack of sleep (almost glamourised).  We need to flip things that are unhealthy.  
  • Change management – how is this done?  Ensuring that the education system lasts and doesn’t have unintended consequences, eg implementation of Tomorrow’s Schools.  Too many policies imposed in education, teachers and leaders just expected to make things work.  Biggest change in 30 years with TS review and early learning strategic plan. 
  • PPTA have developed a change-management toolkit.  Examples of good change management nationally and internationally.  Looked for common themes.  Examples of bad change management – influence of politics (high trust and high support), ownership, communication, adaptation, all needed – and TIME.  Research about how to get around political system – three-year cycle.  Even the Finnish model noted that it is a constant battle to try to keep education less political.  NZEI Te Riu Roa has been pushing for a 30-year vision for education – opposition needs to be on board. 


  • The proposed changes to the person responsible in ECE were discussed.  It was agreed that ECE trained teachers have specialised skills and knowledge.