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Release Of Staffing Review Report

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today released the review of school staffing.

The review recommends several major changes to school staffing including:-

* The reduction of the primary school Maximum Average Class Size from 28 to 25 with a change in the qualifying roll from 160 to 175.
* The introduction of a new staffing component in primary schools called Professional Leadership that would have the effect of giving the equivalent of one full time position for management and related leadership activities at a roll of around 110 instead of the current band between 300 and 350.
* The introduction of a management base staffing component in secondary schools that would assist schools to meet the changes in administrative and assessment requirements that have occurred in recent years.
* An increase in the curriculum base staffing that would assist secondary schools in meeting the demand for greater curriculum breadth.
* The introduction of staffing for guidance and pastoral care to recognise the time required to meet the pastoral and guidance needs of secondary students, with some weighting towards schools with high proportions of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
* The reduction of the teacher/student ratio in kura kaupapa to 1:15.

Trevor Mallard, who chaired the review team, said the report provided a long term framework for improved staffing in schools and implementation of recommendations would be phased in and could be subject to change over the years.

"The sector has joined together and laid out their priorities for staffing improvements. It is now my job to merge these priorities with the Government's fiscal and other constraints.

"Improving staffing in schools is something which the Government will introduce over several years and the staffing review report will be used to guide these changes.

"But improving staffing is only one element in a multi faceted approach to improving schooling in New Zealand. It should not be viewed in isolation.

"There are no silver bullets in education. The Government is seeking a sensible mix of policies that collectively will serve to raise the level of educational achievement of our young people.

"I have put in a budget bid for extra funding for school staffing. The degree to which that funding is able to be put towards extra staffing as outlined in the staffing review report will depend on the results of the teacher bargaining rounds.

"There will obviously be a balance between the rate of salary increase and the number of extra staff," Trevor Mallard said.

A full copy of the report is available on the Ministry of Education's website at:

Q & A on Staffing Review

1 Why was a review of school staffing necessary?

Over a period of time it had become apparent that there were significant pressure points in the staffing of primary and secondary schools – particularly small schools. These pressures had arisen from the effects of MRG staffing formulae and changes in requirements on schools.

2 What does it achieve?

The School Staffing review has presented the Government with a suggested programme of staged staffing improvements, over ten steps, that will address identified areas of concern.

3 Who was on the review group and how were the members selected?

The review group comprises representatives of six key sector groups – NZSTA, SPANZ and Principals Council, NZPF, the Runanga Nui o Te Kura Kaupapa Maori, NZEI and NZPPTA. Each sector group was invited to nominate its representative on the review. The review was chaired by the Minister of Education, Trevor Mallard. The Deputy Chair was former school principal, Graeme Marshall.

4 What does it mean for primary schools?

Primary schools will see the introduction of a new Professional Leadership Component, the effect of which will see one Full Time Teacher equivalent (FTTE) available for leadership and management at rolls of around 110 rather than the previous threshold of 320 – 350. Small primary schools (those with rolls below 176) will benefit from a reduction in the maximum Average Class Size (MACS) to 25 from 28.

5 What does it mean for secondary schools?

Secondary schools will benefit from four initiatives. The review recommends the introduction of decile-related guidance staffing to meet the particular needs of low decile schools, the introduction of a base management component to help schools manage increased administrative requirements, an additional guidance staffing component for all secondary schools, and improvements to curriculum base staffing.

6 What does it mean for area schools?

Area schools will benefit from all the roll-related staffing enhancements according to the relative size of their primary and secondary roll components. They will also benefit, in particular, from the improvements to existing base staffing components and the introduction of new ones.

7 What does it mean for Kura Kaupapa Maori?

Kura, and immersion and bi-lingual classes in regular schools will benefit from a staged reduction in curriculum staffing ratios from the present ratios, through a new ratio of 1: 20, to a final ratio of 1:15. This enhanced staffing recognises the particular difficulties in preparing teaching materials in te reo Maori.

8 When will it start to take effect and how long will it take?

The timing and extent of staffing improvements are dependent upon the Government’s fiscal and budget priorities. An interim staffing improvement in schools eligible for Targeted Rural Funding (TRF) has already taken effect.

9 When will I know what my school will get?

The detailed nature of effects on individual schools can only be determined when the precise nature of each step in the programme of staffing improvement is decided. The improvements are closely related to roll boundaries; consequently, they are very sensitive to change in the short term.

10 Why have the improvements been put in this order?

In the judgement of the review group, the sequence of suggested improvements best meets the group’s terms of reference. In particular, small primary, secondary and area schools are seen as being under greatest pressure at this time and will receive support soonest.

11 Is there a chance my staffing will go down, like it did for
some schools after MRG?

The Ministerial Reference Group (MRG) allocated new staffing and also re-allocated existing staffing according to new principles. As a consequence of the re-allocation, a number of schools lost staffing. The School Staffing Review has fine-tuned existing staffing by allocating new staffing. Schools will not lose staffing because of this review. MRG remains the basis for school staffing in New Zealand.

12 Does the government have the money to do this?

The amount of money that the Government has in any one year to advance the programme of staffing improvements will depend upon a number of factors including fiscal and budget priorities, the cost of wage rounds, and spending on other staffing priorities such as recruitment and retention initiatives.

13 Is this enough to really make a difference in our schools?

Fully implementing the programme recommended by the School Staffing Review will increase staffing by around 10%. This will address key workload concerns and establish a sound basis for achieving the Government’s goals for the compulsory school sector.

14 Do we have enough teachers to fill these new positions?

Because the programme calls for phased implementation, the opportunity exists to align teacher supply with projected increases in demand. Supply is not expected to be a problem in primary schools because of the projected decline in primary rolls over the next seven years. Teacher supply will be an issue in secondary schools and kura and Maori medium education.

15 How will the review findings help recruitment and retention
of staff?

The Government’s commitment to improving school staffing sends a strong signal of support to the sector. Improvements in staffing, recognition of workload concerns and moves to address these will materially assist teacher morale. In turn, this will make teaching more attractive and assist with recruitment and retention.

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