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NZEI Calls For More Support For School Reviews

NZEI Calls For More Support For School Reviews

NZEI Te Riu Roa is calling for greater support for staff who have to go through school mergers.

The call follows a report by the Education Review Office on an area review of 12 schools in the Wellington suburb of Wainuiomata. It was initiated in late 1999 and ended with ten of the schools merging to create five new schools on December 31, 2001.

The report found that the financial objectives of the reorganisation have been largely met but the educational objectives have not been adequately progressed. It states that student achievement as a result of the reorganisation was difficult to identify and that many of the principals reported that initiatives to improve student achievement were put on hold over the last two years. This was because they had to focus on property matters that had arisen from the merger and the need to establish new school cultures to sustain student and staff morale. As a result ERO recommends that in future school reviews there should be the same focus on educational objectives as there is now on financial objectives.

“NZEI is pleased that ERO has recognised this is an issue and has recommended that there be a greater focus on educational outcomes in future school mergers. The union believes there has been too much emphasis on the financial benefits of reorganizations,” says NZEI National President, Bruce Adin.

“This ERO report shows the huge upheaval caused by school reorganisations as schools are merged to create new schools.”

“It is entirely understandable that the staff at the new Wainuiomata schools had to put a lot of their energy into property issues as they were setting up a new schools.”

“They also had to bring together students from different schools and unite them. That’s why developing a culture for each of the new schools was so important.”

“The ERO report shows they were successful on both fronts as student and staff morale is generally high at the Wainuiomata schools.”

“It is understood that the Ministry of Education is reviewing the support given to schools involved in mergers and that is welcome.”

“There has to be a lot more help provided to the principals, teachers and support staff at schools who are working extremely hard to establish new schools as a result of mergers,”

“It’s vital that they get the support they need so the disruption to students, the process will inevitably cause, is kept to a minimum,” says Bruce Adin.

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