National’s policy of improving teaching quality has more support than Labour’s plan to increase the number of teachers.
New Zealanders would rather money was spent on improving teaching standards than on reducing class sizes, a Herald-DigiPoll survey reveals.
Education has become a political battleground before September’s election, with both major parties promising to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on it.
Asked about their priorities, more than 60 per cent of those polled said they would spend money on trying to improve teaching standards rather than cutting class sizes.
Labour has included reducing class sizes in its election policies.
Another of its policies, a promise to pay schools which do not ask parents for donations, gained support in the poll.
National has pledged $359 million for a scheme that would pay the best teachers and principals more.
Labour countered by promising to use that money to instead hire 2000 more teachers and reduce class sizes.
Asked about those policies, 61 per cent of those polled said the money was better spent on trying to improve teaching standards.
Thirty-five per cent thought it should be used to cut class sizes. . .
Education Minister Hekia Parata said the survey showed parents recognised the worth in the initiative.
“Parents have great knowledge about what makes a difference for their kids’ learning, and it is about the quality of learning that happens in their child’s classroom.”
If there was enough money for both better teachers and smaller classes that would be ideal.
But while we have to make a choice, it’s better to have better teachers than more.
National’s policy was designed to get the best educational outcome. Labour’s was written by the unions who put themselves and teachers ahead of education.
Labour’s policy would make a very small difference in class size, National’s would make a significant difference to the quality of teaching and that will make the most positive difference to pupils.