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Parent Teacher Assoc. Do Not Welcome Term Changes

Parent Teacher Assoc. Do Not Welcome Term Changes

New Zealand Parent Teacher Association Inc


It is with great surprise and consternation that the Acting Education Minister, Steve Maharey, along with the Secondary Principals have announced a third week of holidays in July from 2006. Further, that schools are to start a week later as well. What sort of impact is this going to have on the first term – already a shambles because of the movable nature of Easter?

Primary schools already finish very close to Christmas – this will cause it to be even closer – most inconvenient for teachers who are also family people and need time

There has been no consultation with us – a voice for parents – when such a change affects parents so much. Parents need to now arrange child care for an extra week. Even with secondary students it's often needed - after all, a child cannot be left at home alone till 14. Plus it’s often more important to have secondary student supervised than during the primary years. There are lots more things secondary students can get up to!!!!!!!!

We query whether anyone has been consulted – New Zealand School Trustees Association? The Support Staff Union? It is our understanding that support staff do not get paid during holidays – are they to be inconvenienced as well? To say that schools will work a week longer at the end of the year may have grave ramifications for these people.

The exams are also a problem. We know that NCEA is mostly an internally assessed programme, but there are still some external exams. NZQA says that it will ensure these are held a week later, but that means that the students are a ‘week more tired’. Is this fair? Secondary schools already have a problem dealing with years 9 and 10 while seniors are having exams and the fact that they are later at school, will not help the younger one’s attitude.
We wonder why it is necessary to change the whole secondary system for the sake of those relatively few students who would be involved in sport. Why can't the sports competitions be changed to the present holidays? All other competitions such as music, ballet and other cultural pursuits have had to change their dates, why can’t the school sports do so too?

Considering how long it took to change from a 3-term to a 4-term year (approximately 40 years) this change seems precipitous, high handed and discriminatory.

Diane O’Sullivan,

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