Primary principals protest Ministry of Education

The New Zealand National Party

Principals have today protested the Government’s pay offer outside Ministry of Education offices and have signalled further disruption by intending to stop Ministry related work, National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.

“It is not clear what the full impact could be if this issue is not resolved but primary principals not filling in roll returns means it will be difficult for the Ministry to determine funding for schools.

“It is a tribute to the integrity and professionalism of principals that they are trying to have their voice heard while aiming to engage in activity that is the least disruptive to students, parents, teachers and schools.

“Primary principals are concerned the current settlement will see senior teachers or deputy principals paid more than some principals. This is a serious problem due to what is seen by some as a destruction of the career pathway for primary principals. We need more people wanting to be principals rather than less. They are also concerned about pay parity for principals.

“This issue particularly affects small rural school principals. Often their jobs are challenging due to isolation and other responsibilities, and they take on a wider variety of roles. There is an argument that the current pay system based on school size is a flawed model.

“While this action is targeted at the Ministry, there will be consequences and flow on effects through our education system as the break down between the Government and primary principals drags on.

“Principals are some of the most highly respected and valued members of our society. It is disappointing that this could not be resolved earlier.

“We need to ensure there is greater support for these principals who work long hours, solving often complex social and education issues involving children and their families, who manage staff and run major organisations.

“We need the Government to take this action seriously, it’s really important all parties get back to the table to resolve this.”

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