3 Message from the National Secretary

Paul Goulter

Change fatigue in a fast-paced environment

A feature of the sector over 2016/17 is change fatigue. Despite statements to the contrary the Government has sped up the process of change as it has become increasingly focused on embedding its particular version of the GERM.

But what has this all led to? Has the sector embraced the change model and the apparently predicated outcomes?

The evidence is in on that question and the answer is fundamentally “no”. The lack of evidence, the failure of true consultation, the ideological underpinning and the lack of trust in the profession has meant all of this effort will eventually come to nothing.

As the academics continue to say, until the profession is engaged and on board, then effective change in education will not occur.

The consultative model adopted by this government has not worked. The only times significant changes have occurred in government policy—class sizes and bulk funding—have unfortunately been on the negative side and only after intensive campaigning effort from the sector.

And this still leaves at large such policies as National Standards, failing funding, no 100% qualified teachers in ECE, support staff treated as line items on school operations budget, CoLs that are not allowed to meet the needs of their communities. They are policies which are strongly rejected by the sector but a government incapable of changing them.

And underpinning this is the need to restore trust within the sector. This is the social capital that drives education and it has been spent and wasted. Those who work within the sector need to be valued for what they bring to their work and to have that recognised and rewarded.

Unfortunately we are far away from that but as professionals that is our goal and it is what we will achieve.

Paul Goulter
NZEI Te Riu Roa National Secretary