Kiwis agree - give teachers what they need

12 December 2018
Polling over recent months shows 89% of Kiwis want more money spent on education, ahead of other issues.
This fourth poll since March shows continuing high public support for increased Government spending in education and strong agreement that primary and secondary school teachers need a pay rise. New survey questions show strong support for reduced class sizes and more time for planning, preparation and assessment.
NZEI Te Riu Roa and PPTA jointly commissioned the survey* and are buoyed by the strong public support and understanding of the issues facing the sector. 
Other key findings:
  • Teachers need more time for planning, preparation and assessment (79% agree this is the case for both primary and secondary teachers)
  • Class sizes should be reduced (78% agree this is the case for primary schools and 76% agree this is the case for secondary schools)
  • More needs to be done to support students with additional needs (91% agree).
  • There is a shortage of teachers (91% agree this is the case for primary teachers and 88% agree this is the case for secondary teachers)
  • Teachers need a pay rise (85% agree this is the case for primary teachers and 84% agree this is the case for secondary teachers)
  • Teachers are bogged down in administration and this is getting in the way of them teaching (79% agree this is the case for primary teachers, 77% agree this is the case for secondary teachers)
  • Since March, more people believe that schools are struggling or in crisis (47% described primary schools in this way in November, up from 34%; while 42% described secondary schools in this way in November, up from 36%)
  • Since March, fewer people agree that a pay rise will boost teacher numbers (from 82% agreeing in March down to 76% in November). NZEI and PPTA attribute this to a growing awareness that the issues around teaching are not just over pay, but include working conditions, such as long hours and large classes.
NZEI President Lynda Stuart said the year-long campaign by primary teachers and principals clearly resonated with the public, who shared members' concerns about the growing teacher shortage.
"This survey shows that the public backs us and they want the Government to prioritise spending to ensure that every child in every classroom has a great, well-supported teacher. Parents engage constantly with teachers about their children's learning and understand the urgency of turning this crisis around. 
"Parents know that quality public education for our children is at stake, and we need action to ensure a viable teaching workforce into the future," she said.
PPTA President Jack Boyle said, “New Zealanders know how important a quality education is; for their children and for society as a whole. This survey gives me heart – tamariki, whānau, teachers and communities are on the same page – we all want an education system that can support enough teachers to provide a great education for everyone.”
“PPTA urges the government to do the right thing for New Zealand kids, and spend the money needed to deal to teachers shortages, excessive workloads and give every teacher the time to teach.”
* The Navigators, an independent research agency, surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1011 people between 21 and 26 November 2018 using an online poll with the sample drawn from the SSI and Research Now public research panels.  It follows similar surveys conducted in March, June and August. The sample provides a margin of error of +/- 3%.  A 6 point agree/disagree scale was used (‘strongly disagree, disagree, somewhat disagree, somewhat agree, agree, strongly agree) with a don’t know option also provided.  The reported agree scores comprise the sum of the top three agree options.

For more information

  • PPTA President Jack Boyle 021 151 8359
  • NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart 021 211 5890
  • PPTA Communications Advisor Liz Robinson  027 215 8814
  • NZEI Media Hotline 04 382 2755 (redirects to NZEI Communications Advisors Kate Drury or Melissa Schwalger)

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