More Detail Wanted Over Correspondence School Restructure
The largest education sector union, NZEI Te Riu Roa, is calling on the Correspondence School to provide staff with more detail over its latest restructuring plans and to address the serious concerns they have.
The School announced earlier this week that it is going ahead with a controversial overhaul of its design and structure. NZEI had previously voiced serious concern over the proposal, saying constant restructuring at the School has affected staff morale and has not benefited students.
There are about 120 NZEI members at the School including early childhood, primary, and special education teachers as well support staff. They held a union meeting today (November 14th) to discuss their concerns over the latest restructuring and its implementation.
The new structure completely overhauls the management of the School by introducing a regional focus and modifying traditional primary and secondary teaching areas into Year 1-13 groupings. NZEI members say it will significantly change their lines of responsibility and conditions of work but those issues have not been adequately addressed.
They also say there are gaps in the restructuring plan in terms of how it will work and be implemented, and how it will affect the delivery of education to students. NZEI Assistant Secretary Peter Monteith says “members want sufficient time to work through those details with management so that the introduction of the new structure doesn’t interrupt teaching and learning.”
“We also want assurances that there will be an evaluation of the first phase of the restructure and that staff will be fully involved in that process. The Correspondence School is unique in terms of the way it operates and its staff are specialists in what they do. NZEI is also seeking a commitment that all staff working with students will be fully trained and registered teachers,” Mr Monteith says.
The School’s chief executive Mike Hollings has cited poor Education Review Office reports for the School in recent years as key drivers behind the restructuring. However NZEI says ERO reports on the delivery of education in the primary, early childhood and special education areas have been very positive.
NZEI has held an urgent meeting with Mr Hollings to outline staff concerns and says there were some positive responses on a some of the sticking points and a commitment from management to continue working on the issues. The union will report back to members at another meeting in a fortnight.