18 Mar 2014

Education groups fear 'hidden agenda'

10:49 am on 18 March 2014

The Principals Federation and the Educational Institute say their members fear the Government has a hidden agenda for schools.

The groups says the Government is rushing through a large number of changes, including a replacement for the Teachers Council, a review of interventions in failing schools, and new roles for expert teachers and principals.

Hekia Parata.

Hekia Parata. Photo: RNZ

They say teachers and principals are worried the changes will result in a more competitive and punitive regime governing schools.

The organisations also say the Government needs to involve them earlier in making policy, rather than consulting them on initiatives it has already developed behind the scenes.

Education Minister Hekia Parata says media reports "mischaracterised" what she said about performance-linked funding.

She told Radio New Zealand that if the funding system is reviewed, a wide range of factors will be discussed but that discussion is not happening now.

That is not good enough for the Post Primary Teachers Association and the Educational Institute.

They want the Government to completely rule out performance-linked funding, which they say will harm schools in poor communities.