The polling, conducted by research firm The Navigators and commissioned by NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA), showed New Zealanders strongly back teachers in their campaigns to address the education crisis in Aotearoa.
Conducted regularly since March 2018, the poll shows consistently strong support for reduced class sizes, increased support for children with additional needs, and a pay rise for teachers.
Ahead of this month's federal budget to be announced on May 30, the poll also shows that 89 per cent of people agree more money should be allocated to fixing problems in education compared to other issues.
NZEI Te Riu Roa vice president Liam Rutherford said they're well aware of teachers being supported by parents, but the results of the poll send a clear message to the Government.
"New Zealanders from all walks of life want to see an investment in education.
"They want to know children are getting the best education they can get and they want teachers to know they're valued," Rutherford said.
"Teachers have been told they're supported in their fight to turn the education crisis this country is facing around.
"This poll shows the public is with us.
"They want a well-supported, well-resourced and trusted teaching profession in all our schools and communities - just as much as we do."
PPTA vice president Melanie Webber said a well-resourced education system was vital for students.
“Teachers have a deep understanding of the issues hampering the education sector, and so do most New Zealanders.
"Jacinda Ardern has fantastic aspirations for Kiwi kids, but she doesn't seem willing to make changes in education that would benefit every child now and into the future,” Webber said.
“Children’s futures rely on having an equitable and well-resourced education system with teachers who have the time, experience and energy to bring out the best for every student.”
The key findings from the poll include:
- More money should be spent on education relative to other issues: 89 per cent support.
- There is a shortage of teachers: 89 per cent agree this is the case for primary teachers and 88 per cent agree this is the case for secondary teachers.
- Teachers need a pay rise: 83 per cent agree this is the case for both primary and secondary teachers.
- Class sizes should be reduced: 76 per cent agree this is the case for primary schools and 73 per cent agree this is the case for secondary schools.
- Teachers need more time for planning, preparation and assessment: 79 per cent agree this is the case for both primary and secondary teachers.
- Teachers are bogged down in administration and this is getting in the way of them teaching: 80 per cent agree this is the case for primary teachers, 78 per cent agree this is the case for secondary teachers.
- More needs to be done to support students with additional needs: 91 per cent agree.
NZEI Te Riu Roa primary teacher and principal members and PPTA secondary teacher members are voting this week on whether to take joint strike action on May 29.
The outcome of the ballots will be announced early next week.