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PPTA rejects English stitch-up claims

PPTA rejects English stitch-up claims

Bill English’s repeated claim that network reviews are a stitch up between education unions and Education Minister Trevor Mallard is utter nonsense, PPTA president Phil Smith said today.

Mr Smith said that although PPTA was not against closures or mergers per se, it had strongly argued that the timing of this round of reviews was inappropriate for secondary schools already coping with assessment changes, staffing shortages and chronic work overload.

Even when demographic changes made reviews in secondary schools inevitable, PPTA’s concern was to develop a process that supported students and teachers through the transition.

“This is exactly what we did not have under the previous National Government. The most brutal and irresponsible network review we have been associated with was in Invercargill, under Wyatt Creech. The parents, teachers and students there are still paying the price for the incompetent manner in which National conducted that review.

“In fact the current network review in the city can be traced back to National’s ill-informed decision making in the 1990s.”

Mr Smith said although PPTA welcomed the Minister’s decision to put an embargo on further school reviews for the next five years, there was still much to be done.

“There may be disagreements about the long-term benefits of a reorganisation but there is consensus that the transition process is still not good enough.

“We are urging the Minister to increase the transition time for those secondary schools caught up in the current round of reviews. The Education Ministry must also take a greater role in supporting staff, schools and community and resource them to both minimise disruption to students and maximise educational outcomes.”

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