The rejection of the Government's flagship education policy
by primary school teachers and principals was "sadly
predictable" in an election year, according to Prime Minister
Speaking during a visit to Auckland's Mt Roskill Grammar
School this afternoon, Mr Key said the decision by the NZEI
union and its members was "disappointing but not surprising".
"The actions are sadly predictable in election year. The sad
thing is, the only ones that will lose out from this
political stunt are your children."
Mr Key said the Government would push on with the Investing
in Educational Success (IES) policy.
Yesterday the NZEI announced it would not engage in
collective negotiations, in an attempt to shape how the
reform will take shape.
Ninety-three per cent of its members who voted said they had
"no confidence"in the Government's plan.
Mr Key kicked-off National's election year in January by
announcing the IES policy, which will cost an extra $360
million over four years.
The scheme aims to identify the best principals and teachers
and pay them more to spend time in other local schools or
provide an example within their own.
Schools that are struggling can also ask for an allowance of
$50,000 to top-up the salary they can use to attract a
The four new roles would work across a cluster of 10-12
schools. Schools that do not want to be involved can opt-out.
The leadership of NZEI has been a vocal critic of the policy,
arguing the money would be better spent on helping lower
decile schools cope with children damaged by poverty and
Union president Judith Nowotarski said the policy had been
proposed without the involvement of schools or parents, and
with no evidence that the new model would help student
Yesterday's rejection of IES is less likely to be repeated at
the secondary school level.
The Post Primary Teachers Association and the Government have
been working through detail of how the new roles would work,
and pushing for some changes.
Its executive has been supportive of IES, and negotiations
are ongoing on the teaching roles associated with secondary
schools. Agreements had been reached with organisations that
represent the principals of New Zealand's 339 secondary
schools, as well as the NZ School Trustees Association.