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Raising education standards through extra teachers

23 September 2004

Raising education standards through extra teachers

The government will put an extra 460 teachers into secondary schools from the beginning of 2005, as part of an ongoing commitment to drive up education standards in our schools, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

"This initiative represents a huge investment in our commitment to ensuring better teaching and improved education standards for all our students. That's because the extra teachers will alleviate teacher workloads and reduce staffing pressures so teachers have more time to concentrate on actually teaching their students and helping them achieve," Trevor Mallard said.

"The extra teachers are over and above any extra teachers who will be required to match roll growth. At a cost of $111 million over four years, they are part of the government’s continuing commitment to improve school staffing. As a result, the total number of extra teachers in primary and secondary schools provided since 2001, over and above those needed for roll growth, will rise to 2,550 from the beginning of 2005. The estimated total ongoing annual cost is $160 million.

"By 2005 most secondary schools will be receiving an extra four teachers or more as a result of this initiative."

Secondary schools have already received an estimated extra 805 teachers over the last four years. The new staffing for 2005 raises that total to 1,265 teachers. The extra staffing will be allocated to secondary schools as: up to 0.3 full time teacher equivalents (FTTEs) in management base staffing to schools with rolls over 92; and up to 1.2 FTTEs in guidance base staffing to schools with students in years 9 to 15.

While the extra staffing is allocated as specific components of school staffing entitlement, school boards are free to use the staffing as they think best meets the needs of their students.

"The settlement of the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement has given financial certainty on costs for the next three years, making this initiative possible. Announcements for other schools will be made when they are finalised."

Trevor Mallard said the initiative would put pressure on the supply of teachers but a range of strategies was in place to compensate. (see attached list) The enhanced conditions in the new secondary teachers’ collective agreement would also help recruitment and retention.

ENDS

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