There is an interesting editorial in The Herald that paints the PPTA in an unfavourable light. It is rare to read an education article that isn’t blaming the government for all of education’s woes and even rarer to find one that contradicts the head of a union. Even more startling is that the journalist points out that a statement made by Chris Hipkins is a lie. It is not a small lie either, it is a whopper.
It is sad but possibly not surprising that the first tranche of funding for the Government’s “communities of learning” scheme has been taken up mainly by schools that were already better off. Sad, because the purpose was to spread the benefits of the best leadership and teaching and in this way reduce the gap between top performing schools and those at the bottom. But perhaps not surprising because, like every education initiative of a National Government, the scheme was greeted with suspicion and derision by the profession and the poorest schools may be the easiest to discourage from participating.
The fact that 36 per cent of the first round of extra funding has gone to decile 10 schools and only 11 per cent to decile 1 schools, “makes a mockery of National’s claim they are targeting educational achievement”, says Labour’s education spokesman, Chris Hipkins. “It is also a slap in the face to the many outstanding teachers flogging their guts out in our poorest communities.”
It is nothing of the kind; the scheme was, and is, open to all.
The journalist couldn’t be any clearer. He or she is calling Chris Hipkins a liar.