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Government Withdraws Threat Letter

3 December 2003

Media Release:

Government Withdraws Threat Letter

Special Needs Units Safe for Now…

QPEC is very pleased that the government is withdrawing its letter to schools which threatened the existence of many special needs units.

We have been assured this is the case after a deeply frustrating 6 days of attempting to get a response from Trevor Mallard concerning letters sent by the Ministry of Education to many schools last week (see QPEC media release 30 November)

Those letters pressured schools to withdraw their RTLB (Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour) staffing from special needs units and require the teachers to itinerate. This move would have put these units under threat of closure as well as being in breach of the agreement reached following the 5 year legal battle – the Daniels case - which was settled only a couple of months back.

We are pleased at the outcome at this stage but annoyed and angry that schools had been put through this upsetting situation just 2 weeks before the end of the school year – a favourite time to drop unpopular education policies onto schools.

We would like to hope a more constructive approach to special education could be developed but judging by recent history we won’t be holding our breath…

John Minto
National Chairperson
Ph (09) 8463173
Fax (09) 8463176

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