28 Jan 2013

School groups predict tough year ahead

6:40 pm on 28 January 2013

Groups representing school teachers, principals and trustees are predicting 2013 will be a difficult and controversial year for their sector.

Schools are reopening after their summer holiday from Monday and the groups say the problems that affected them in 2012 have not gone away.

When schools closed for their summer holiday six weeks ago, the head of the Education Ministry had resigned and there were calls for Education Minister Hekia Parata to go too.

Now the holidays are over, and school groups say there are plenty of pitfalls facing them in the year ahead.

They include the problem-plagued school payroll system, Novopay, Christchurch schools being merged or closed, the introduction of publically-funded private charter schools, the impact of the national standards in reading, writing and maths, and collective agreement talks for principals and primary school teachers.

The primary school union, the Educational Institute, says 2013 will be just as difficult as last year unless the Government changes its policies.