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Parents can send children to school if concerned

16 June 2002 Media Statement

Parents can send children to school if concerned

Education Minister Trevor Mallard said schools were required to provide safe supervision for secondary school students affected by PPTA industrial action.

Trevor Mallard said the Ministry had this weekend written to all school principals reminding them of the requirement and asking them to encourage parents to make use of arrangements for supervision they put in place.

“I have also once again asked the PPTA to call off this week’s industrial action which was planned before they had tabled a new claim or set in place times for negotiation,” Trevor Mallard said.

“The government wants to settle this dispute as soon as possible. We are extremely concerned about the educational effects the dispute is having. Following the events of late last week, I am also concerned about student welfare and safety.

“If the PPTA’s action to refuse to teach nominated year levels on different days goes ahead this week, parents unable to supervise their children should be aware that arrangements will be made at schools – although students may not be taught by their normal teachers.

“The Ministry of Education’s regional offices are also liasing with schools, to provide advice and support on how to minimise disruption as a result of the PPTA action.

“As stated previously, government negotiators are ready to negotiate at any time. They are currently waiting for the PPTA to table a claim.

“I also urge students to be calm and end the action that they have taken,” Trevor Mallard said.

Attached: Copy of letter to school principals

16 June 2002

Dear Principal

The PPTA have notified their intention to continue industrial action by refusing to teach nominated year levels on different days of the week. This action is causing considerable concern to parents and caregivers. A number have contacted the Ministry, unsure of what arrangements are in place.

The normal practice on occasions like this is for schools to offer supervision for those students whose parents and caregivers cannot make alternative arrangements. I understand that most of you will have already notified parents and caregivers of this facility. However, Friday’s event showed how rapidly circumstances can change, and you may need to continue to communicate with parents. It is important for parents and caregivers to know that the school is open and in a position to offer supervision for students. Would you please encourage parents and caregivers to make use of these arrangements, and reassure them that all schools take seriously their responsibilities for student welfare and safety. It is important to allay these concerns so that parents and caregivers, together with schools, can make clear arrangements to keep students safe.

As stated in the earlier message from Rob McIntosh, the Ministry is concerned about the safety of students and will continue to monitor the situation and review what assistance may be necessary. The Ministry’s regional offices will continue to liaise with schools, and are available to provide advice and support.

Thank you for your continued cooperation in this very demanding situation.

Yours sincerely

Howard Fancy
Secretary for Education

(pp Kathy Phillips, Senior Manager, National Operations)

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