Education Amendment Bill changes

April 13th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Select Committee has reported back the Amendment Bill, with some changes.

The majority of us recommend inserting new section 139AAAB, in clause 28, to allow a teacher or staff member to require that a student remove their jacket or outer clothing so that it can be searched, and to require the search to comply with the safeguards detailed in new section 139AAAC. The removal of outer clothing would not be permitted if the student had no other clothing, or only underclothes, under the outer clothing. Students might be suspected of having harmful or illegal items in the pockets of their jackets or outerwear, and the new section proposed would make it clear for teachers how they would be permitted to search for such items.

There was concern, which I had previously blogged on, that the original bill made it impossible for teachers to do any sort of checking of students without their consent.

The recommended new section 139AAAB would allow a teacher or other staff member to require a student to hand over a bag or other container and allow it to be searched, if they believed the student is inpossession of a harmful item. The majority of us are con

cerned that the legislation as introduced would prohibit a teacher from requiring a student to hand over a bag containing a harmful item, leaving the teacher unable to take this step to provide a safe learning environment.

Also sensible. So who would be against teachers being able to check for weapons or drugs?

The of course:

While we agree that a school must be a safe place for students and teachers we do not believe the additional powers in the bill can be justified.

Sigh.

We considered whether partnership schools should be subject to the same oversight as existing state schools, for example via the Ombudsman. On balance it is our view that the Ombudsmen Act 1975 should apply to the exercise of discipline powers relating to suspensions, expulsions, stand-downs, and exclusions, and we therefore recommend amending clause 31, new section 158X, and inserting new clause 43. This provision would have the effect of ensuring that all children and their families would have access to the Ombudsman.

That is a sensible and welcome move.

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18 Responses to “Education Amendment Bill changes”

  1. hamnidaV2 (247 comments) says:

    Charter schools. Sigh.

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  2. Lloyd (125 comments) says:

    At the last school I taught at, some pupils carried drugs in their bags, knowing we had no powers to search. We had to get the police in to do it, wasting their resources and time and ours.
    The provisions of this act seem reasonable – now.
    And the Greens would not have a clue. None of them have had to be concerned that a kid having an ‘episode’ might suddenly pull a weapon from their bag; they have never been concerned that another kid may be dealing out of their bag; they have never held down a real job where feral kids from out-of-control homes plan, do and lie about hideous things. They are as unqualified to offer a cogent opinion as they are unqualified to govern.

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  3. F E Smith (3,315 comments) says:

    AAAC!!! When added sections get to four letters after the number then in my view it is time to re-draft the entire Act.

    [DPF: I agree!

    Maybe one could PCO authority to renumber all sections so that they are numbers only!]

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  4. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    So the Greens are all for individual liberty to the point of protecting knife wielding thugs in schools, but want to ban them from the right to buy a pie? There is presumably a rationale for these positions, but what is it?

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  5. Rightandleft (655 comments) says:

    The Greens education policy is focussed on teaching the Treaty of Waitangi, environmentalism and getting rid of school uniforms. They also said they wanted a class size maximum of 20, which would be great, but the only way they’ll get the money for that is to print it.

    I’m glad to see the ombudsman will have authority on charter schools as well. Although I’m going to assume since it isn’t mentioned here that they haven’t changed the legislation to make them accountable to the OIA, which I do find disappointing.

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  6. Rightandleft (655 comments) says:

    Their rationale is the Greens always know best of course. They’re the nanny and we all need to take our medicine. I had forgotten about their anti-pie policy, though Labour pushes that one too of course.

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  7. hamnidaV2 (247 comments) says:

    Anti-pie?!?

    How could anyone possibly not like pies?

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  8. Harriet (4,616 comments) says:

    The law of the land is there for a reason, and if kids break it, they should then face the consequences to educate them why the law IS there.

    Teachers shouldn’t give children the view that the ‘law of the land’ is abstract from life and that ‘punishment’ is arbitary and dealt out by a companion adult. That never happens in the real world.

    I’d rather the impartiality of the police were present. After all they are the ones who’s job it is to ‘identify risk’ and ‘manage risk’.

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  9. Pete George (23,331 comments) says:

    Today’s protests have the wrong focus – it is teachers not wanting to change. But it is employees trying to dictate to Government and to parents.

    – Nurses don’t protest about what sort of health care people should get.
    – Police don’t protest over how they should fight crime.
    – IRD employees don’t protest over how people should be taxed.

    If there are education protests and demands it should be parents saying what they want for their children, and teachers should be prepared to do what is required of them (and Government), not try to stop any changes to how they do things because of their own ideologies.

    Major problem with education protests

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  10. Pete George (23,331 comments) says:

    And believe it or not this is one of the focal points of teacher union action…

    The Government is trying to create a crisis in education and impose a business model on our world class education system.

    This model, known as the GERM (Global Education Reform Movement) has infected other countries by introducing standardisation, competition and test based accountability. In ECE, the Government says it wants to test ECE’s effectiveness through measuring “outputs”. This may affect funding of services, Te Whaariki and the way we assess children.

    But we have the antidote!

    It’s all of us fighting to protect a quality education system which is fair and equitable, based on collaboration and trust and where every child’s learning needs are met.

    http://www.beststart.org.nz/germ/

    …the GERM conspiracy.

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  11. Harriet (4,616 comments) says:

    The reason that the Greens don’t like pies, or beer, is not that they are bad for you, but rather, that they are our culture.

    Otherwise they would promote the idea of a halal soya meat vegan pie, flavoured by a spice from each continent[except australia] with cous cous piled on top instead of potatoe or pastry.

    Green tomatoe sauce too of course.

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  12. hamnidaV2 (247 comments) says:

    The prefect combination – Fresh German-style beer with a steak and cheese pie.

    I don’t like cous cous, it tastes dry and bland.

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  13. Rightandleft (655 comments) says:

    PG,

    The NZEI protesters aren’t dictating policy, they’re just trying to make their opinion heard. I’m sure they do take part in regular dialogue with government over education policy. I don’t agree with them on some of their complaints and I think NZEI goes way overboard on a lot of PC nonsense, but they have a right to campaign for what they see as being in the best interest of their students. I would think them a lot more greedy and self-interested if they only ever protested for pay rises for themselves.

    Also it’s silly to make GERM out to be some crazy global conspiracy. It’s just a simple acronym to describe a current trend in education policy that is making headway in many developed countries. I first heard the term from Pasi Sahlberg, the author of Finnish Lessons, who spoke about how Finland had become top of the PISA table by avoiding this trend and in fact doing the opposite.

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  14. Pete George (23,331 comments) says:

    “It’s just a simple acronym to describe a current trend in education policy”

    Global Education Reform Movement sounds like a deliberately derogatory acronym suggesting a global movement that they say is “infecting” education.

    Have we reached the pinnacle of education methods? Or should we keep exploring better ways, especially for those failing in the current system?

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  15. Pete George (23,331 comments) says:

    And this is how GERM is described by the person who invented the term:

    GERM infections have various symptoms.

    The first symptom is more competition within education systems.

    The second symptom of GERM is increased school choice.

    The third sign of GERM is stronger accountability from schools and related standardized testing of students.

    (From How GERM is infecting schools around the world)

    The alternative is equity, where all education offered is the same for everyone.

    He says policies that promote school choice – like an open market where schools compete against each other – are an alternative to equity: “You can either have school choice or you can have equity, the evidence is very clear on this, you have to value one of them.”
    Even having a little bit of school choice means sacrificing equity, he says, and somehow performance quality and equity work together.

    http://www.educationaotearoa.org.nz/all-stories/2013/1/7/how-to-finnish-ahead-of-the-rest.html

    This is what you get with everything being the same in education.

    Educational equity is fine for all children who learn exactly the same. But…

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  16. duggledog (1,439 comments) says:

    Hamnida stop trying to be one of the guys you aren’t

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  17. Rightandleft (655 comments) says:

    PG,

    Yes I know Pasi Sahlberg is against school choice, I saw his presentation on GERM. I disagree with him on that one for a number of reasons, one of which being that my own experience as a child in a country that didn’t allow any school choice in the public system was a very bad one. I agree with him on the dangers of standardised testing (I don’t consider National Standards to be the same thing and I support fully moderated NS being implemented for primaries) because we don’t want to start narrowing our modern, broad curriculum. I also like the idea of schools as hubs of social services the way they are in Finland. It seems like a very efficient model to follow. I don’t think we’ve reached the pinnacle of education methods but I don’t think the right way to move forward is to adopt the policies of countries doing poorly in education, like the US and UK. The teachers unions aren’t fighting for the status quo, they want change that is backed by research and practised in the countries beating us in the PISA stats. Well that’s what PPTA wants anyway, I can’t really speak for NZEI. They do seem to take be a bit more resistant to changes.

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  18. rg (200 comments) says:

    To advocate for the partnership schools to be subject to the Ombudsman while not advocating for changes so that the thousands of pre schools and private tertiary instituitions that are currently not under the ombudsman are brought under the ombudsman is a rather curious position. I am suspicious of people with such duplicitous views.

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