Government learning announcement affects teacher workload

May 27, 2024

Government learning announcement affects teacher workload

New literacy guidelines concern teachers who are already overloaded. Photo: Billy McDermott

A Government decision on how to teach reading in schools has sparked worries about whether teachers will receive the necessary support.

It will be mandatory from term one, 2025, for all state schools to teach reading using the structured literature approach as part of the new government’s plans to improve reading levels in New Zealand schools.

President of the New Zealand Educational Institute Mark Potter says while NZEI supports the structured literacy approach, other issues for teachers need to be addressed first.

“There has been an increasing intensification of expectation of teachers, but what we haven’t had is a matching change in how schools are staffed, resourced, and equipped, so teachers can have the time and space to meet all these expectations.”

The approach requires students to be taught at least an hour of reading, writing, and mathematics along with the use of phonics in teaching reading and writing.

High schools say there is a problem and they have been playing catch up on literacy when students arrive as year nines.

Head of English at Westlake Boys High School Andrew Berry worries that literacy struggles are having an effect when students get to high school.

“I think something needed to change.

“Increasing numbers of students are reaching high school with poor levels of literacy which is putting them at a huge disadvantage and necessitating a lot of remedial work for teacher to ensure they move through the curriculums.”

Potter also stressed the importance of education providers being involved in developing policies such as how the structured literacy approach is delivered.

“All too often we get mandates coming out from ministries and ministers that have no resourcing and schools have to then scramble to try and find how to make these things work.

“So, if you are going to ask people to do something then yeah, you should be putting out and putting together resources to equip them.”

Listen here to Potter on concerns about the mandated decision.

Auckland's Matariki festival this year highlights indigenous art

Auckland's Matariki festival this year highlights indigenous art

Nabeelah Khan June 12, 2024

University students and professors weigh in on newly proposed ‘assistant psychology’ role

University students and professors weigh in on newly proposed ‘assistant psychology’ role

Nabeelah Khan June 5, 2024

Giving journalism a ‘face-lift’ in a time of crisis

Giving journalism a ‘face-lift’ in a time of crisis

Jamie Lawlor June 4, 2024