The Ministry of Education disputes the NZEI Te Riu Roa’s claim that the Investing in Educational Success (IES) initiative favours high-decile schools.
The primary teachers’ union has produced data analysis of the first 11 communities of schools (CoS) participating in IES that shows that the allocation of resources favours the groups of large high-decile schools.
According to the analysis, the Auckland Central and Mid Bays (North Shore) communities, consisting of mainly of decile 8-10 schools, will have 46 per cent of the in-school lead teachers and 44 per cent of the teacher inquiry time in the current allocation. These two communities will also have 21 of the 43 expert teachers who are tasked with spreading their expertise across the schools in their CoS. In comparison, Napier’s CoS of seven decile 1 and 2 schools will have just two expert teachers.
NZEI president Louise Green says the data shows that the kids who really need help are not going to get it.
However the Ministry says they are supporting applications in no particular order and not favouring one over another.
“It’s not correct to say IES is not targeting schools that need extra support. It is. It is on-going so the numbers are growing all the time,” says Katrina Casey, the Ministry’s head of sector enablement and support.
“It’s important also to note that a formula, based on the number of teachers in the school, is used to determine the number of roles in any one school. This ensures no one school benefits unfairly over another.”
Casey emphasises that involvement in IES is entirely voluntary.
“Schools are choosing for themselves when to seek more information about IES and when to become involved in a community of schools,” she says.
The Ministry has received expressions of interest from 525 individual schools right across the country, since IES began.
“The number of communities of schools is rising and those expressing interest is too as we explain the benefits for all types of schools - secondary and primary, big and small, rural and urban,” says Casey.
Meanwhile the NZEI continues to oppose IES, and encourages schools to consider its joint initiative with the Ministry instead.
NZEI president Louise Green says students need smaller classes, more teacher aides for special needs, 100 per cent qualified early childhood teachers and better resourcing of bi-lingual education for Maori and Pasifika.
“Highly paid “expert” teachers moving between schools overseen by a highly paid lead principal are not going to deliver the results the Minister wants, because IES is not what the vast majority of schools and students want or need,” says Green.