4 May 2005
Minister should halt unnecessary staff cuts
Correspondence School PPTA members have called on associate education minister David Benson-Pope to intervene to stop the school’s board cutting nearly 40 support service and guidance teacher positions.
Following a stop work meeting yesterday, nearly 150 secondary teachers at the school walked to Parliament to deliver a letter to the minister. The letter condemns the inadequate consultation process used during the school’s review of student support services and asks the minister to provide adequate funding for the school to provide quality teaching and learning and pastoral care.
The school board is meeting tonight to decide the fate of 24 regional representatives, nine deans, three regional teachers and two career transition specialists. It says the redundancies are needed to trim a $5.5 million deficit but the PPTA branch believes they would be unnecessary if the Government adequately funded the school.
PPTA branch chair Derek Bunting said the school’s secondary teachers were dismayed at the job cuts, which “ would have a disastrous impact on the teaching services and pastoral care delivered by our teachers and regional representatives.
“The hundreds of years of cumulative expertise and knowledge of the deans and regional representatives will be a terrible loss and will increase the workload of other teachers who will be expected to take on pastoral care and careers advice roles.”
Bunting said teachers were also extremely disappointed at the lack of consultation with Correspondence School parents and students over the review of support services and the proposed Differential Service Delivery (DSD) model. They were also disappointed that the extensive submissions and representations teaching staff made to the school had largely been ignored.
Teachers believed the model’s focus on high needs students was welcome, but that it shouldn’t come at the cost of reducing services to other students.
“The school’s board is acting in the interests of the Minister (and the Ministry of Education) but has ignored the students and parents who are the school’s community.
”Students at the Correspondence School are entitled to receive the same quality of service that all other students receive at their local school.”