NZEI Te Riu Roa principal and teacher members will be meeting with their newly elected School Boards to start the conversation about staffing issues in our primary and intermediate schools and the pathway to fully staffed schools. Here’s some information to help you set up a meeting at your school.
Why are we holding these meetings?
Understaffing is a major issue in our kura and, primary and intermediate schools. Too many tamariki are not getting the attention they need to reach their full potential and too many are falling through the cracks. Understaffing means teachers are not free to teach, and principals are not free to lead their schools. Addressing this issue will require significant funding. To secure support from politicians to provide that funding, we need to demonstrate the support of parents, board members and the wider community.
How can I set up a meeting at my school?
Principals are best placed to set up the meeting with School Boards. At the first or second meeting of the new School Board, the Principal should request an item on the School Board agenda to discuss the current NZEI Te Riu Roa campaigns for principals and teachers.
How can your kura or school prepare for the meeting?
We’ve created a folder of resources, which contains:
• A link to a short video (approximately 4 minutes). It provides the background and context for the staffing issues in primary and intermediate schools and shares a vision of what fully funded
schools/kura would look like.
o Te Reo Māori version
o Te Reo Pākeha version
• Talking points and story-telling guide
• Action Plan template for School Boards
o Statement for School Boards
• Handout to leave with the School Boards
o Te Reo Māori version
o Te Reo Pākehā version
How to structure the conversation
Karekau he ture mō ngā hui o ngā kura. Te mea whakahirahira kia timata ngā korerorero e pā ana ki te kaimahi me te whakaaweawe ki ngā tamariki, me te whānau hoki. A, kia whai reo ngā mātua me te whanau ki roto I ngā korero. Ka pēnei te hanga hui o tōu kura:
There are no rules for the school community meetings. The most important thing is to start the conversation about staffing and impact on children and whānau and to ensure the voices of parents and whānau are in that conversation.
To help structure the conversation, you can follow this structure and use the talking points and story-telling guide.
How you tell a powerful story?
• Build support by engaging listeners in a way that impacts their emotions / empathy.
• Make issues come alive with pictures of reality - more than we can with dry facts and figures.
• Give power to stories, message.
• 2-3 minutes max for each story.
We’ve put together this guide to help you structure your story, which you can access here.
What are we asking of the School Boards?
We are asking School Boards to sign a statement to back teachers and principals, and develop an Action Plan to show they can share their support going forward, which could include:
• Sharing with the school community through a community meeting, social media, newsletters or displays in the kura or school.
• Sharing with the local community, including iwi, community organisations or other boards and
• Sharing with other organisations including New Zealand School Trustees’ Association (NZSTA)
• Sharing with local politicians by inviting them into the school to listen to the stories of parents,
whānau and NZEI Te Riu Roa members and provide commitment ahead of budget 2023 &
election 2023 (let NZEI know so we can support).
• Sharing with other staff members at the school.
School Board Action Plan Template
Statement for School Boards
What else needs to happen at the meeting
Include the Board’s support for the statement to back teachers and principals in the Board minutes. Please take photo(s) – with permission – of the teacher and principal sharing their story with the School Board to share with the community.
Winning fully staffed schools will take significant funding and that means we need to build strong community support
Awhinatia ki te hanga, he torohaki kei waenga I te hāpori whakahau, mā te tohaina I ngā whakaahua, me ngā tohutoro, me ngā purakau o te hui-a-hāpori kei te pae pāpāho pāpori. Kia tika tōnu ka tango whakaahua o te katoa, a, kia whakaae hoki rātou ki te tango whakaahua, me a rātou tākupu e tohaina.
You can help build the momentum around the community campaign by sharing images, quotes and stories of your community meetings on social media. Just make sure everyone photographed agrees to have their photos/comment shared.