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Minister welcomes Whangarei high schools' decision

Minister welcomes Whangarei high schools' decision

Associate Education Minister David Benson-Pope today welcomed the decision of two Whangarei high schools to reconsider sending students home five days a year in order to facilitate extra non contact time for teachers.

"The Boards of both Kamo High School and Whangarei Boys' High School are now exploring other options in their efforts to provide an extra one hour non-contact time per week for teachers", said Mr Benson-Pope.

Section 65B (2) of the Education Act requires boards to ensure schools are open for tuition for 380 half days in any year. The actions of the schools would have resulted in their half-days being cut by 10 per year.

Secondary schools are currently required to provide full time teachers with four non-contact hours each week and in 2005 to endeavour to provide an additional hour each week. The entitlement to five hours non contact time per week is effective from 2006.

The phasing of the introduction of the non contact time, increasing from three hours in 2003 when it was introduced, was to allow for the progressive introduction of additional staffing into schools.

500 additional secondary teachers have been added to staffing entitlements this year bringing to 1465 the number of additional secondary teachers since 2001. There is expected to be a further increase in staffing entitlement in 2006.

"More than 300 other schools are successfully meeting the requirements of the collective agreement without denying students' precious tuition time," said Mr Benson-Pope.

ENDS

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