Letter from the President, November 2018
Our annual conference in Auckland was another big success. The quality of the speakers and exhibitors was high and the whole event was brilliantly organised. Thanks once again to Rachel, Craig, Ceri, Cherie and the Event Dynamics team for your hard work. The conference was our biggest ever with close to 700 delegates attending. We look forward to next year’s event which will take place in Napier on 19, 20, 21 November.
The national executive meeting always takes place the night before the conference and this year we were privileged to be hosted in the outstanding Orbit restaurant at the top of the Skytower. What follows is a summary of some of the discussions and actions from that meeting.
We had just received confirmation from the Ministry of Education that our Networks of Expertise grant had been confirmed and this was announced at the well-attended AGM on Thursday morning. This grant of $150000 per annum for two years, will enable us to build our own professional development network. You will appreciate that it is early days and our executive team will need time to develop this programme. You are free to have input or ask questions via your executive member.
We agreed to build on our relationship with Minister Hipkins by writing a letter to him. I will write on behalf of the executive team and you to raise issues that support our purpose areas such as what is going on with Careers NZ, better resourcing for Got a Trade, following up on election promises and so on.
I wish to revisit a theme that was raised by several speakers at the AGM. These people felt that CATE should be supporting/lobbying the PPTA in support of a better deal for Careers teachers. While CATE executive obviously does support this, there are a couple of points I wish to add and reiterate to what I said at the AGM:
- I recently wrote a letter on behalf of CATE to the PPTA president supporting Careers teachers claims. This letter was neither acknowledged or answered.
- Many of our CATE members are not PPTA members so we need to balance the time we spend supporting and discussing PPTA issues.
- CATE is a professional association, not a union. While I understand the importance of supporting our members who are PPTA members, it is primarily the role of PPTA members themselves to lobby and liaise with the PPTA.
- As an honorary member of the PPTA, I was dismayed at how quick they were to drop the careers stipend increase from the bargaining table. I think the PPTA could be doing a better job of representing Careers teachers’ interests and it is up to PPTA members who agree to tell them that.
Would you like to have some input into the School Leavers’ Toolkit? This workshop was packed at the conference and many people missed out on the survey. If you were there or not, have your say here: Toolkit Survey for CATE
Finally, I wanted to share my thoughts on a theme that I picked up from several speakers at the conference; “putting careers at the centre of curriculum and planning in a school”. I absolutely support this for a number of reasons. Firstly, everybody who leaves school transitions into work at some point. This may be paid or unpaid, employment or voluntary service. Whatever the case, schools need to be structured so that learners can get the best possible information on career opportunities. Learners need to have every opportunity to fully develop their strengths and passions while at school and beyond. The current model of content/assessment limits these goals and I hope that some of the government reviews allow evolution in the system. We must not rest until we have parity of esteem around personal attributes, employment and training options and every learner must understand the relevance of what they do at school.
I trust you will have a safe and happy holiday. Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou.