PLD changes will lift student achievement

Announcement by the Education Minister, the Hon Hekia Parata.

Originally published on 23rd September 2015 at https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/pld-changes-will-lift-student-achievement 

Changes to the way professional learning and development (PLD) is delivered to teachers will lift student achievement, says Education Minister Hekia Parata.

Ms Parata today announced an overhaul of the system which follows a report from an advisory group of education experts which found that the present system of PLD no longer aligns with the needs of many schools, kura and teachers. The group was established following consistent dissatisfaction from schools and insufficient lift in student achievement.

“The link between effective PLD and improved students outcomes is well-established,” says Ms Parata. “It is essential that our investment in PLD delivers the best possible results for students.

“By helping schools to develop dynamic learning cultures that are inclusive of students, parents and whānau we will lift student achievement.”

The changes will be phased in over the next three years. They will focus professional development on a small number of national priorities in the areas of mathematics, science, reading and writing, digital fluency, and a pilot in health and PE. These priorities are based on student data providing evidence of where the biggest challenges are.

Priority will be given to schools as they grow into communities of learning,  working together to raise achievement for all their students and to schools with a high number of students achieving below expected levels.

“Two of the priority regions will be Northland and Gisborne/East Coast which continue to have persistent education underachievement and poor employment outcomes for their young people.

“We’re also considering transitioning PLD to the Education Council, the new professional body for the teaching profession whose job it is to set standards and raise the status of the profession,” says Ms Parata. “PLD is closely aligned to this role. A decision will be made by June 2017.

“We want students in every school and kura to have leaders and teachers who are actively engaged in professional development that supports and challenges them to accelerate their students’ learning.”

To avoid disruption, existing contracts that were due to expire this year have been rolled over for another 12 months.

Notes:

The PLD Advisory Group was established in 2013 to provide advice on the future design of PLD across the country. Its membership was made up of respected schooling sector leaders from professional associations, English and Māori medium schools, and the teacher unions.