Labour’s reasonable idea but very silly mechanism

We have a genuine qualitative and quantitative shortage of teachers in New Zealand. We also rank 33rd in the OECD  for overcoming socio-economic disadvantage.

The Labour government has just decided that New Zealand schools need – non-teaching – “Learning Support Co-ordinators”. The role is remarkably similar to the Villa Education Trust designed “Community Liaison Managers” (no credit of course from Hipkins and Martin) – with one huge problem! That is that the government has again bent the knee to the UNIONS and these people must be registered teachers.

It makes no sense. There are highly skilled people in the community able to do these jobs (e.g. Ed Psychs), there is already a teaching shortage and this takes people out of the classroom, and it is a non-teaching role.

Once again the Labour government has ensured that appeasing the teacher unions gets in the way of genuinely helping children and made a 1.007 step forward – one step back move.

There are other things that are very hard to understand with this move. Why wait until 2020? Is next year’s cohort not important enough or is the huge New Zealand education bureaucracy not capable of working quickly on something like this?

Secondly, who will train them? We have been doing this for 5 years now so would be happy to step up to the plate! We are also very sure we could help them provide this service more effectively than the combination of the Ministry of Education and the teacher unions will and we would cost the taxpayer a lot less than $220 million hard earned dollars.

Someone like Filipo Levi is a super-star of education and has not had to go through a banal year or four of teacher college training and join up to a patch-protecting union to be so.

Community Liaison Manager: Filipo Levi – BA, MA, University of Otago: quote.

A former Samoan Rugby Captain, Filipo’s role is to build relationships between the school and families as well as develop links into the local community. He ensures the day-to-day welfare and family involvement of the children while at South Auckland Middle School and also tracks and supports them through their Year 11 – 13 schools. “Part of my role is to help year 7-10 Pasifika, Maori and high needs students achieve outcomes in school with the input and support of their families and community groups. I am very passionate about Education and seeing our students succeed in all aspects of their lives.” End quote.

 

by Alwyn Poole


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A guest post submitted to Whaleoil and edited by Whaleoil staff.

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