When we look back on 2017 we will remember ... Every teacher remembers a particular student or a special class. Storing away small and enjoyable interactions are part of a teacher’s coping strategy. But to be honest, we’ll probably remember the change of government rather than the huge efforts of our teachers and students. In the space of just a few weeks since the election, charter schools are gone, National Standards are gone, NCEA is set for a shake up and the make-up and function of the Education Council is up for discussion too.

A significant achievement in the sector this year has been ... collaboration and partnership. While it may not sound all that glamorous, the work we’ve done with MPs over many years means the new ministers understand what is needed to support our high performing education system. Chris Hipkins’ recent comment that the “culture of assessment needs to change” is a pleasing reflection of that and we expect to be involved in co-designing the government’s plans for reducing workload soon.

The issue our members were most concerned about in 2017 was ... the culture of over-assessment, box-ticking and red tape that means teachers can’t spend the time they want to with each child. The impact of this low trust, high compliance culture can be seen in the increased stress and anxiety of many of our young people and growing teacher shortages.

Three education priorities for the coming year should be ... making teaching a sustainable and attractive career by providing high quality professional development, reducing excessive workload and raising salaries.