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Scale Of Education Job Cuts Concerning

“The scale of the job cuts at the Ministry of Education is concerning,” says Te Rito Maioha Chief Executive Kathy Wolfe.

“At a time when the government has signalled an increased focus on education, cutting the human resources at the Ministry of Education (MoE) risks the Ministry being unable to effectively service our education sector. It’s also devastating for all those potentially losing their jobs and we send our aroha to these kaimahi.”

“Investment in education, whether it is early childhood, primary or tertiary is vital. Removing support staff from education can have an incredibly detrimental effect on early learning, schools, education providers and tamariki, especially if that resource was there to provide assistance to learners that need additional support.”

“The evidence is clear; we need our speech and language therapists and schools need early intervention teachers and other specialist staff. This will directly affect working teachers and students who may fall behind and opt out of formal education.”

“If the record public service cuts affect schools, teachers and leadership, the remaining educational staff will end up picking up additional responsibilities to keep their workplaces going. Already principals are leaving the profession due to high workloads and stresses. Teachers need effective principals to keep these complicated workplaces functioning smoothly, and this additional pressure on schools could be a tipping point.”

On the one hand the government is seeking increased participation of young people in school and on the other they are removing critical jobs to support these young people. It makes no sense!

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“Responding to the government’s requirement to reduce costs at the Ministry of Education is clearly complicated. There is significant need for new buildings, additional classrooms, additional teachers, and better resources for those tamariki with high needs. The real question we should be asking, is whether these cuts will benefit our education system and ultimately the education of the 191,602 children in ECE[1], 446,177 primary students and 292,187 secondary students[2]? Or are these cuts a decision the government will come to regret.”

Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand is a leader in early childhood and primary education – growing teachers, leaders, knowledge, and bicultural practice so every child learns and thrives. As a membership organisation we are a strong voice for young children and quality education, advocating for the ECE sector and connecting our members with the latest sector-related issues, policy and professional development. As a specialist tertiary provider with 11 centres, we grow valued teachers, educators, leaders and experts with diploma, degree and postgraduate qualifications in early childhood and primary education.

[1] Education Counts – Participation in Licensed Early Childhood Service June 2023 ECE Census

[2] Education Counts – Total number of students by school type as at 1 July 2023

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