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Under-staffing leads to over-crowded classrooms

Media Release
12 March 2012
Under-staffing leads to over-crowded classrooms

The current formula used to calculate secondary school staff funding no longer fits with the needs of 21st Century schools and needs an overhaul says PPTA junior vice president Angela Roberts .

She said a report by the secondary schools staffing group (SSSG) released today demonstrates the extent to which the current formula places pressure on the ability of larger schools to maintain workable class sizes.

Ms Roberts was a PPTA representative on the SSSG which was established under the settlement of the 2011 Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement to consider the impact of class size and develop solutions for classes that are too large.

The group consisted of representatives from PPTA, the NZ Secondary Principals’ Council (NZSPC), the School Trustees Association, the Secondary Principals’ Association of NZ (SPANZ) and the Ministry of Education.

Ms Roberts said principal and teacher representatives identified resourcing for maximum class sizes of 25 in all secondary schools as a reasonable target.

“PPTA was pleased that the parties had been able to engage in discussions about class size and its effects on student outcomes.

“Too many of our young people are being disadvantaged by over-sized classes,” she said.

“Most SSSG members were also concerned that schools rely on a mixture of operations funding and their own fund raising efforts to plug gaps in staffing,” she said.

“We look forward to working with the Ministry of Education on a review of the current staffing formula and other solutions that aim to reduce class size,” she said.

ENDS

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