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Christchurch teacher cuts short-sighted

16th September 2011
For Immediate Release

Christchurch teacher cuts short-sighted

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says moves to cut hundreds of teaching jobs in Christchurch are short-sighted and will come as a major blow to those schools and communities which are still trying to put themselves back together.

Schools in Christchurch are being sent their provisional staffing figures for next year and the government has announced that overall 167 positions are being lost.

NZEI had called on the government to maintain staffing and funding levels to quake-affected schools and early childhood centres through until the end of 2012, saying extraordinary circumstances call for an extraordinary response.

NZEI President Ian Leckie says “schools have lost buildings, classrooms and playing fields among other things, and now they are faced with losing teaching staff who have worked tirelessly to provide stability and support to traumatised students and their families”.

He says it’s the wrong time to be pulling resources out of Christchurch as students, schools and staff will need additional support for a long time to come yet.

It’s also disappointing that the government still refuses to give any certainty to early childhood centres around their funding, even for the remainder of this year.

Roll drops from the quakes have meant reduced funding to dozens of centres which are now having to make tough decisions about cutting staff, reducing staff hours and wages, or closing their doors altogether.

“The end result is that children will miss out on vital early childhood education as many recovering communities will be left with no services. It’s critical for Christchurch’s children and families that these centres have their funding restored and receive some guarantees going into the future,” Mr Leckie says.

“The government needs to be taking a long-term view in terms of the future of Christchurch education, rather than a short-sighted one which will see the loss of valuable staff and resources at a time when the city needs them most”.

ends

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