Action plan does little for class safety
December 8, 2009
does little for class safety
Principals are deeply concerned that the newly released behaviour action plan will not make secondary schools any safer, New Zealand Secondary Principals’ Council (NZSPC) representative Lisl Prendergast says.
“Making sure the classroom is a safe environment for students and teachers is paramount and the buck stops with a school’s principal and board to ensure this is the case,” she said.
The plan’s downfall was that is that it was trying to achieve results with no extra funding, when support service provision for schools around the country was already extremely patchy, she said
“A small percentage of students require clinical services to be provided in a timely manner, no matter where they live or what income bracket they fall into, but currently this is not the case.
“Rural and remote schools are at a disadvantage, and the current need for services doesn’t match their actual availability,” she said.
“We are not going to get much by trying to re-shuffle a service that’s already underperforming.”
Lisl was also dubious about the plan’s recommendation to put more money into the interim response fund that comes in to play when things go badly wrong at a school.
“It is all very well to put more money in (to the interim response fund) but we need to be able to prevent these things from happening. Thankfully serious classroom incidents are not too common, but they do happen and they can happen at any time, at any school.
“We hope that in the future we can co-operate with the ministry in the same spirit as the Taumata Whanonga offered us, to ensure that there are positive measures offered to secondary schools as well. It would also be nice to see new money committed to all the ideas from the Taumata, instead of just re-arranging elements with little new resourcing support,” she said.