Changes for teachers

The Minister of Education, Hekia Parata, today announced changes which will affect teachers. She said that class sizes for Years 2 to 10 will average 27 students. This means that some classes will be slightly bigger while others will be slightly smaller. At the moment Years 2 and 3 average 23 students while Years 4, 5, 6 and 7 average 29 students. The government thinks this will save $43m a year in teachers’ pay. A few teachers will lose their jobs.

However, Ms Parata said that the government plans to spend half a billion dollars on education in the next four years. She said they want better teachers. All new teachers will need a post-graduate qualification. All new principals will need a special principals’ qualification. At the moment, all secondary school teachers do have a post-graduate qualification. After gaining a degree in the subject of their choice, they spend a year at a College of Education. Primary teachers need only a degree in education, a B Ed.

The Ministry of Education might also look at performance pay. This is extra pay for good teachers.

We will learn more about the government’s plans for spending on Education when the Minister of Finance reads the Budget next Thursday.

Listen to May 19th 2011 to hear about last year’s Budget.


affect – make a difference
average – if one class has 31 students and another has 27, the average is 29.
slightly – a little
B Ed – Bachelor of Education
performance – the work someone does, especially how well it is done
The Budget – the government’s plan for spending for the year


• What is a ‘good teacher’? How would you decide who is a good teacher? Would this depend on student results?

• What do you think about class size? Is there much difference between 29 and 27 students in a class? Is there much difference between 23 and 27 students in a class?

• Which school years are the most important for a child?


  1. I think is very diffcult to decide who is a good teacher in the school. It can not depend on student results. If we do this, NZ education will become like some asian education.The students will get much stress. In my opinion I agree the government should make the secondary classes slightly bigger because we don’t have much money to spend on everything.

  2. In my opinion all professionals should have goals. In fact, some of them already have. I can clearly see the difference in performance between my children’s teachers. Anyway, education should be a priority for any serious government.

  3. I think this just isn’t right. They really need to be prudent to choose the good teacher and also, they might choose good teachers by looking at student reports but that won’t work because what if the teacher cheated? what if the teacher gave them clues or gave the actual answers? well, as a student in NZ, I don’t think making tech teachers lose their jobs will make students or parents happy.

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