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Sombre mood at Correspondence School

Media Release
5 May 2005

Sombre mood at Correspondence School

Correspondence School teachers are saddened by the decision today to disestablish the positions of 39 of their colleagues.

Twenty four regional representatives, 10 deans, three regional teachers and two career transition specialists have been made redundant as part of a review of student services and a drive to cut what the school says is a $5.5 million deficit.

PPTA branch chair Derek Bunting said the mood around the school was sombre, but the teachers affected at least now had certainty to consider their futures.

“It’s not the future that they wanted but there is now some certainty for them.

“One dean expressed the view that the weight had now been lifted from her shoulders.”

PPTA president Debbie Te Whaiti said the Association was extremely disappointed by the decision to cut the jobs, which affected 19 PPTA members.

“There may well be a genuine need to review the school’s support services but we don’t believe the school is going about its review in the right way.

“It has largely ignored the extensive submissions and representations of teaching staff and has not sought the views of the students and parents who are its constituent community.

“As we suspected the delay in this announcement (from April) was for cosmetic changes – not for genuine consideration of teachers’ submissions, nor to extend the consultation to parents and students.”

Te Whaiti said the loss of hundreds of years of cumulative expertise and knowledge of the deans and regional representatives was devastating for the school and the New Zealand teaching profession.

The staff cuts would increase the workload of other teachers who would be expected to take on pastoral care and careers advice roles and who were already dealing with a dreadful backlog of work for dual enrolled students (students attending secondary schools and doing some subjects by correspondence).

She said PPTA would contact other schools around the country to inform them of the redundancies and any likely impact on the delivery of services to dual enrolled students.

ENDS

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