March 6, 2015


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Parents Are Key Sex Educators, Not Schools

 FAMILY FIRST NZ logo

MEDIA RELEASE

20 February 2015

Parents Are Key Sex Educators, Not Schools

Family First NZ is rejecting a call by an Australian sexologist for sex education to be targeted at children as young as five, and says that resources should be targeted at parents to help them educate their own children.

“Parents should be horrified at the prospect of programmes targeted at children as young as five undermining the role and values of parents, and resources which fail to take into account the emotional and physical development of each child and the values of that particular family,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“There is definitely a need for young people to be aware of the harms of pornography, rape and teen pregnancy, and issues around consent, but parents know their children the best and should determine the best timing and most appropriate way to tackle these sensitive topics. A valueless ‘one size fits all’ approach is far too simplistic and can even be harmful.”

“Studies show that the biggest protective factors for coping with puberty and sexual involvement are married parents, family values, parental supervision, and parental expectations for behaviour. What happens at home is the greatest determinant of the outcomes for the young person.”

Family First acknowledges that the Youth Wellbeing Project has excellent resources for parents, and this is where the emphasis should be.

A recent international study found that by the age of ten years old, most children will have already had their first ‘facts of life’ talk with their parents. The online survey of 5,420 parents and 2,569 children aged 5-10 years old was undertaken during 2014 in New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. The AVG Technology survey found that most parents plan to have the chat about adult topics including pornography, sex and puberty by the time their kids are 10-years-old, and that 76% believe that the Internet has encouraged the conversation on adult themes with children at an increasingly early age.

“This is a great result and shows that parents are now looking to pre-empt the unacceptable messages being pushed in the media, on the internet, and by groups abusing the sex education curriculum which pollute their young children’s minds and innocence. Parents are the best moral gatekeepers for their children,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“We should be resourcing parents to be empowered to have these talks with their own children.”

A recent review of sex education resources recommended to adolescents in NZ found that they are seriously flawed with both sins of commission and sins of omission, and that critical life and death information is distorted or ignored.

ENDS

For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:

Bob McCoskrie – National Director

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Check out how you can support Family First here: http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=0cd68702160c587ec85116fce&id=9b51bfd3c4

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Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings and the Scoping Survey: http://hef.org.nz/2014/next-steps-deadline-8-december-2014/

 

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Rising costs tipped to spur some struggling families to keep their children home from school.

Murali Annu and his wife, Avanthi, save what they can for the future education needs of their son Naren, 18 months, and daughter Nidhi, 4. Photo / Dean Purcell

Murali Annu and his wife, Avanthi, save what they can for the future education needs of their son Naren, 18 months, and daughter Nidhi, 4. Photo / Dean Purcell

Some children won’t return to school next week because their struggling families can’t afford to pay for basic items, says a budget adviser.

The prediction comes as a report calculates a state-provided “free” education for a child starting school this year will cost almost $35,000.

For a child born this year it will cost more than $37,000.

The peer-reviewed Planning for Education Index was compiled from a survey of more than 1000 members of ASG Education Programmes, who were asked about the cost of school fees, transport, uniforms, computers and school and sports trips.

Thirteen years of costs associated with a state school education would ultimately amount to $37,676 for children born this year — $17,499 by the end of primary school in 2027 and a further $20,177 by their high school graduation.

In other school systems, costs were far higher.

A primary and secondary education in the state-integrated system, beginning in 2020, would have cost nearly $108,000 by 2032 — while the average cost of private schooling until Year 13 was more than $323,000.

The growing costs of sending a child through the New Zealand school system were made clear when compared with the costs for a child starting school next week — $34,524 for state schooling, $93,251 for state-integrated schooling and $269,943 for private schooling.

The annual costs for a Year 1 student starting school next term would grow from $1976 in 2015 to $3781 by 2027.

Over the past decade, education costs in New Zealand had risen at 1.5 times the rate of headline inflation — and there was no reason costs would not keep rising, ASG Education Programmes chief John Velegrinis said.

Darryl Evans, chief executive of the Mangere Budgeting Services Trust, said the families his service assisted were well aware of the costs of schooling — yet they were not a priority for households struggling even to pay the rent.

“I know families that have already told us that they won’t be sending their kids back to school next week because they haven’t been able to buy uniforms, stationery and new shoes — because all the money is going on rent and food.”

Other families had been forced to hunt for $3 shoes in opportunity shops to save on school uniforms — and one mother had paid $273 for stationery and items for two children aged 11 and 5 (story continues after the graphic).

Schools Trustees Association president Lorraine Kerr was surprised by the increasing costs in ASG’s report, which she said low-income families would need to “squeeze more blood out of a stone” to meet.

The Ministry of Education has acknowledged costs of operating schools could increase in line with general inflation or wage pressures…

Last night, Education Minister Hekia Parata emphasised that all students between the ages of 5 and 19 were entitled to a free education, and parents could not be forced to pay donations. However, boards could ask for donations for extra activities or projects.

School is top priority

As a boy in India, Murali Annu received a first-class education because his parents made his schooling their priority.

Today, the sales analyst wants his own kids to get the same opportunity – but it’s not easy in a one-income rental household in Avondale…

“But for us, money is secondary to education,” he said. “I’m very thankful that my parents gave me a good education. On that basis, I got into the University of Auckland. But in a real sense I want to provide my children something better than I got.”

Read the whole article here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11390477

- NZ Herald

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Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

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Doctor’s sex quiz shocks mother

JESS MCALLEN

The mother of a 12-year-old boy whose doctor asked him if he was sexually active, watched porn or was having suicidal thoughts is outraged her husband was asked to leave the room during the questioning.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, says her son was shocked and her husband appalled when the GP asked the husband to leave so he could ask the boy what she described as “totally inappropriate” questions.

“The health issue was regarding a personal area, so we thought it was just carrying on about that,” she said.

The GP was following a protocol dubbed a HEEADSSS assessment – which stands for Home environment, Education and employment, Eating, peer-related Activities, Drugs, Sexuality, Suicide/depression and Safety from injury and violence. It is used as a tool to screen youth who may be at risk.

The boy had previously had trouble sleeping and didn’t like crowds, but his mother is questioning whether the topics covered were appropriate.

“Why do they have to sexualise our children? Why did we not have this topic discussed with us before we consented? We had a right to know.”

Her complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner was unsuccessful on the basis that the boy’s father had given permission. However, she said he would never have consented had he known what his son was going to be asked.

“We felt violated. The doctor had gone into areas of his life that he should not have gone into. Certainly not without the consent of his dad.

“There are some 12-year-olds having sex, but some of us choose not to sexualise our children. We want children to be children and their innocence to be there.”

Youthline’s Stephen Bell said that although it’s ideal to have families on board, sometimes they can be a risk.

Youthline, a counselling service for youth, uses the HEEADSSS assessment as a guideline to understand what’s happening with a young person. It’s not necessarily done in the first meeting, said Bell, and is about pacing and matching where the young person is.

The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners said HEEADSSS is a good example of a screening tool.

“The college does not explicitly endorse many screening tools [aside from the ABC alcohol screening tool] and our expectation is that if a doctor chooses to use a screening tool they need to make sure it is relevant, used appropriately and its use is supported by evidence,” a spokesperson said.

A guideline to the assessment recommends parents do not sit in because it can limit how much sensitive information the patient will provide.

Read article here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/63244134/Doctors-sex-quiz-shocks-mother

Comments by Bob McCoskrie of Family First New Zealand:

The problem with the programme and the attitude from groups like Youthline is the basic presumption that children and young people need to be fully aware of every adult concept that we can throw at them, and parents are one of the biggest barriers to young people developing the way they need to. That is completely false. It also continues the ‘war’ on parents in terms of telling parents how to raise and discipline their children, the ‘rights of children’ taking precedence over the important role of parents, parental notification laws for teen abortions, and ‘confidentiality’ being used because of the perceived ‘risk’ of parents.
This programme may be warranted and necessary for a family where it’s known that the parents are dysfunctional and the child are at-risk, but in the case of this family, that was not the case.
Any parents of a 12 year old would be horrified by being excluded from this process involving invasive questions such as ‘have you had obsessions about sex, does homeschooling teach you anything about sex, have you had sex and be sure to always do it with someone you love.’
Questions in the guideline also include “are your sexual activities enjoyable?, how many sexual partners have you had?” Even the questions around depression and suicide may be inappropriate and not suitable for certain ages.
It’s also contrary to guidelines. Under the Health Information Privacy Code parents do have a right of access to their children’s health information as long as the child is under 16.

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From the Smiths: http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

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Lack of male teachers ‘affecting boys’

Ministry aware of gender imbalance in schools but doesn’t plan to do anything about it

 Ra-Tane Edelsten, who is studying at the University of Auckland to become a primary school teacher. Photo / Dean Carruthers Ra-Tane Edelsten, who is studying at the University of Auckland to become a primary school teacher. Photo / Dean Carruthers

Students are now less likely to have a male teacher, with many going through their early education years without ever encountering a male role model.

Ministry of Education figures show fewer than one-in-five primary school teachers are male.

Principals want more research on what is putting men off the profession, but fear pay and high-profile sexual abuse cases are to blame.

The Ministry of Education is “very conscious” of the gender imbalance, but says with no shortage of teachers there are no recruitment drives aimed at men.

“Evidence tells us that the most important factor in lifting achievement is the quality of teaching, not the gender of the teacher,” said Dr Graham Stoop, the ministry’s head of student achievement.

Last year 28 per cent of teachers were men, down slightly from 2012 and a fall from 30 per cent in the mid-2000s.

The percentage of male teachers at primary schools fell to 18 per cent (down 1 per cent) and at secondary schools dipped to 42 per cent (down 2 per cent).

Latest Census statistics show only 3 per cent of teachers in the early childhood sector are men.

Principals’ Federation president Phil Harding said many schools struggled to hire male teachers, and there were good reasons why a more even gender split was desirable.

“Look at the percentages of children that are living with no father in their daily lives. We see the fall-out from that with boys that have lost their way, are desperately unhappy, and don’t feel like they can talk about it with mum.

“So that all gets bottled up and rebounds in the playground in anger – deeply seated stuff.”

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11359588

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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NZ children slip in world maths rankings

Fall from 13th to 22nd blamed on teacher training and disruptions

6 in 10 students say they've never heard of concepts such as congruent figures, radicals and divisors. Photo / Thinkstock
6 in 10 students say they’ve never heard of concepts such as congruent figures, radicals and divisors. Photo / Thinkstock

Class disruptions and a lack of exposure to algebra and geometry are just some of the issues being linked to New Zealand slipping from 13th to 22nd in OECD maths ratings.

A three-part Ministry of Education report on maths class learning environments was released last week. It is based on the findings in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment 2012 (PISA). The programme happens every three years and evaluates 15-year-old students’ skills and knowledge in maths, reading and science.

This latest report identifies that the drop in maths ranking is due to an accumulation of factors in regards to student opportunities to learn, teaching strategy and student behaviour.

Key findings include:

• 60 per cent of students indicated they had never heard of mathematical concepts such as congruent figures, radicals and divisors.

• Kiwi students were less exposed to formal maths – such as algebra and geometry – than students in the comparable nations of Australia, Canada, Britain and Singapore.

• 40 per cent of students reported that noise and disorder and students not listening to the teacher occurred in most maths classes.

Maths teachers with degree-level qualifications are more likely to be teaching in urban, high socio-economic schools, and students at these schools have higher exposure to complex concepts and formal maths.

Secondary Principals Association president Tom Parsons said the results stemmed from a national shortage of teachers with adequate mathematics training.

“There is such a demand for teachers who come out of university with maths qualifications that they can go wherever they like,” he said. “Usually this is high socio-economic urban areas.”

New Zealand Association of Mathematics Teachers president Gillian Frankcom said the reason for the decline was not clear cut. She said that since 2009, all secondary school teacher graduates had completed a comprehensive maths component and teacher incompetence could not be singled out for student failure.
Quiz: Three math questions (answers below)

1. Solve: 5(t – 4) = 15
2. Simplify: 6(x – 5) – 2(x+1)
3. Solve: 3x(x+4) = 0

For the rest of the article and the results of the three maths questions click on this link: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11358227&ref=NZH_FBpage

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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