Source: Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA)
The findings of a new Education Review Office report support the PPTA’s call to turn schools into hubs for their communities.
The report assessed the impact of Covid-19 on the education sector in 2020, and was based on surveys of thousands of students, teachers, and principals during and after last year’s lockdowns.
It found that while everyone struggled, the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on students in Auckland who went through two lockdowns, students studying for NCEA qualifications, Māori and Pacific learners, and students in low-decile schools.
These findings confirm what we have been hearing from our members and advisory groups.
We all want every child – no matter where they were born, where they live, or who their parents are – to have the same opportunities to learn. Strong connections between schools, families and communities have long been recognised as crucial for the success of the education system.
As such, we are calling on the government to implement policies that make schools the heart of their communities.
We are calling for increased provision of health, social, and community services to students and their families on school campuses. When social services can be accessed at school, educational outcomes are improved, so let’s make it easier for kids and families and the community to access all the services they need in one place.
We are calling for more staff to support Māori and Pasifika teachers who – as ERO states – go above and beyond to support and care for their students and whānau.
We are calling for more guidance counsellors, because kids should be able to get the help they need, when they need it.
We are calling for more adult community education, as the pandemic has shown us that we all need the opportunity to learn and train for a new job or career throughout our lives. We need to become resilient communities.
Please ask your local MP to support our call, and talk to friends and family too. Let’s turn schools into hubs, bring communities together, and give all our tamariki their best chance at a world-class education.