31 Mar 2014

Education summit closes in Wellington

11:31 am on 31 March 2014

Nearly 400 education ministers and teachers' representatives from around the world have finished a two-day summit aimed at closing the gap between rich and poor students.

The International Summit on the Teaching Profession in Wellington attracted representatives from 25 countries.

Delegates discussed ways of improving their education systems and narrowing the difference in achievement between rich and poor. They told Radio New Zealand News there was strong agreement on the need for high-quality teachers and more collaboration between schools and between teachers.

They said it was also clear that governments must have strong and positive relationships with teacher unions.

Meanwhile Education Minister Hekia Parata has brushed off suggestions a rally in the grounds of Parliament on Saturday, outside the summit, caused tension at the education meeting.

Several hundred people rallied to demand a living wage of about $18.80 an hour for low-paid school support staff.

Ms Parata says the school and early childhood union the NZEI was within its rights to organise the event.

She says the summit has been a success.