Message to members from President Pat Byrne
The misrepresentation of the new school review process, aimed at schools identifying areas where they need more resources and support, is disgraceful.
The Sunday Times has taken a process designed to encourage honest self-reflection from schools in seeking support and improving outcomes for students and selectively used it to humiliate whole communities.
To label schools as flunking tests is just about what you’d expect from organisations intent on individual rankings rather than building capacity across a system.
The SSTUWA is in the process of contacting members at all of the identified schools to offer support.
To have staff, students and communities labelled in such a dishonest way is of absolutely no help to anyone.
The reality of this review process is that leaders and teachers are encouraged to identify where processes can be improved and to seek the support they need.
This honesty should be commended, not belittled.
Singling out individual schools to cherry-pick negative aspects, with no mention at all of the programs which are being undertaken to address issues, is dishonest and unfair.
Transparency in the review process is a worthy goal, but the reality is there are elements of the media with no interest in context or nuance and who will use these reports to create misleading headlines.
The SSTUWA strongly supports the new review system. As with any review process schools must then be properly resourced to address any areas that require improvement.
We will continue to work with members, the department and the Minister to achieve these goals.