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Staff cuts threaten Correspondence School

Staff cuts threaten Correspondence School

The Education Minister could save rural communities from losing vital education services if only he would increase funding for the cash-strapped Correspondence School, the Green Party says.

An announcement on wide-ranging restructuring plans, including about 120 job losses, was expected to be made today after a Correspondence School board meeting on Friday. The school's management needs to deal with a $5 million deficit.

The restructuring plans, if they remain as signalled, will starve rural communities of critical educational services, already damaged by last year's programme of rural school closures, Green Party Education Spokesperson Metiria Turei says

"Rural correspondence learners have no other alternatives and continue to need support from teaching staff. Correspondence School funding and support needs to be increased to manage growing demand, not slashed by a Board and Ministry intent on destroying the School.

"Learners, parents and staff have had virtually no communication from the Correspondence School about the plans and haven't been involved in the decision-making. Staff are only now discovering whether they will keep their jobs or not," she says.

The Correspondence School is an international leader in e-learning technologies and has developed a highly-skilled teaching and support staff workforce that delivers a very high quality education to thousands of learners.

"If staff are lost now it will take years for the School to regain that skill level again. Clearly, the Correspondence School Board, with a complicit Minister and Ministry are purposely destroying the Correspondence School's services, piece by piece," Mrs Turei says.

ENDS

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