Advocacy Articles

Reason and Practicability in Managing Chemical Hazards

by Ian de Stigter and Michelle Kiernan
August 2015

Data collected through an on-line survey of NZ school science technicians established that one quarter of schools have not made (chemical hazard) Laboratory Manager (LM) appointments. LMs are more common in larger schools, and in independent schools, and there is a pronounced regional variation. While a few LMs seem to be appropriately paid and allocated time to fulfil their role, many receive little time or money, and most get none of either. It is therefore not surprising to find that hazard management achievements are relatively modest. ERO and the Ministry of Education have given less support for chemical hazard management than would be expected. Key changes are consequently proposed as necessary in schools with the new hazardous substances management regime to be introduced under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 Read more…..


Workplace Change for Science Technicians

by Ian de Stigter
August 2012

School science technicians are involved with a variety of changes which are taking place in their work and workplace, and believe that some further developments there are overdue. Changes have come both from progress in technology and curriculum, and through different resource needs as science teaching methods and assessment requirements evolve. Changes which have taken place, and drivers for further change, are.. Read more…..


History of Efforts for Support Staff and Science Technicians

Report by Ian de Stigter, October 2011
Science Technician at Mt Albert Grammar School for STANZ

Abstract: In this report Ian outlines past developments which have been positive for school science technicians, followed by continuing and current professional and employment challenges. Data and resources available to quantify and resolve these issues are described. Strategies are presented which could be used to bring about beneficial change. Read more…..


NZ School Science Technician Roles

by Ian de Stigter
August 2010

Information about New Zealand school science technicians available from surveys is examined, with overseas comparisons. Use of science technicians to minimise the additional workload science teachers have for practical work is at a low level by international standards. The proportion already qualified and experienced when engaged is higher than in Australia and UK. Accessing further training and professional development is however difficult, even for those lacking basic training. Read more….


NZ Secondary School Technician Employment 

by Ian de Stigter

Science Technician at Mt Albert Grammar School for Science Technicians Association of NZ
August 2007, Endorsed by STANZ Executive 10/08/2008.

Abstract: Ways used by others to determine the amount of technician support for science teaching were considered. A survey of NZ schools was carried out and the service factor ratios calculated. The different values for this measure of teaching support were compared in different-sized state/integrated schools, and in independent schools. The assumption that state and integrated schools could be considered together was checked. Consideration was given to the role of a science technician in a school, and the reasons why larger schools may use proportionately less technician support. A proposal was put forward for a minimum service factor ratio, with the suggestion of central funding the salaries. Read more…


NZ School Science Technician Workforce Survey

by Ian de Stigter
September 2007

An on-line survey of school science technicians was carried out in August-September 2007 to guide future planning for the profession. Survey questions were designed to determine the characteristics of the NZ school science technician workforce, and the environment in which they work. Some of the information can be compared with that in UK and Australian science technician surveys. NZ information on employment hours, from an earlier survey, is also considered. Read more…