More pay to teach ‘gangsta’ students

The Dominion Post 03 September 2008

Teachers want more pay for staff who work in problem schools, and also want colleges to be secretly classified by the number of violent, disruptive or anti-social pupils on their rolls. They warn that “damaged” or high-risk pupils are displaying “gangsta-style” behaviour at school, abusing substances, bullying classmates, intimidating people or committing violence. This has made recruiting teachers difficult at many of the poorest, low-decile schools and comes as the children’s commissioner investigates school violence.

A discussion paper, to be presented at the Post Primary Teachers Association national conference this month, says high-risk pupils often have severe behavioural problems, poor literacy and numeracy skills, and high truancy rates.