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Thread: Auckland teacher crisis

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    Default Auckland teacher crisis

    Principals call for action on teacher 'crisis'
    Page 1 of 2 5:00AM Wednesday September 19, 2007
    By Martha McKenzie-Minifie and Nzpa

    Primary school principals called for urgent action on the Auckland teacher shortage in a meeting with education officials yesterday.

    South Auckland has emerged as one of the worst-hit areas in the teacher shortage "crisis", with schools unable to get relief workers forced to "double up" their classes when a teacher calls in sick.

    The problem was expected to worsen next term, as school rolls traditionally rise at the end of the year.

    A Government pledge to lower the ratio of new entrant students to their teachers next year was predicted to add to the pressure.

    More here .
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    700 teachers needed by next year
    By REBECCA TODD - The Press | Thursday, 20 September 2007

    New Zealand primary schools will need an extra 700 teachers by next May to meet new rules on smaller class sizes.

    The Government has promised to reduce class sizes for new entrants and Year 1 classes to 18 pupils from term two next year. Schools are currently funded for classes of 23.

    Thirteen Christchurch primary schools spoken to by The Press were overwhelmingly in support of the extra funding, but concerned about competition for teachers.

    Some schools had junior class sizes of up to 30 pupils and welcomed any opportunity to improve ratios.

    Bromley School principal Scot Kinley said hiring more staff was a potential problem, but he was feeling "primed and pumped" for the changes.

    Paparoa Street School principal Sue Ashworth said she expected a considerable difference to staffing and eventually to teaching space.

    "We do need new buildings, but this is going to be a huge deal for the Education Ministry across New Zealand, so there will be delays," Ashworth said.

    Papanui School would cope with the changes by limiting roll numbers until new teaching space could be built, said principal Paul Kingston.

    "A ratio of one to 15 would be ideal, but it needs to be followed up in other year groups," he said.

    Cotswold School principal Stephen Harrison said he would be looking closely at accepting out-of-zone pupils because of pressure on buildings.

    A Ministry of Education spokeswoman said the Government was providing about $105,000 towards new learning spaces that schools could use to modify an existing area or build a new classroom.

    Schools had been assessed on whether they could accommodate extra staff within existing space, the spokeswoman said. About 32 of the 166 national learning spaces would be in Canterbury.

    The spokeswoman said she was aware of planning issues around the term two start date.

    "The ministers had to make decisions and this was the decision they took."

    Schools would know how the changes would affect them by the end of this week, she said.

    New Zealand Education Institute president Irene Cooper said the union wanted the scheme to start at the beginning of the year.

    "February is when all the new teachers are on the market. The proposal to start from term two is assuming they will all hang around until April or that schools will use operational funding to buy them up before that," she said.

    Cooper was confident ministers would live up to their election promise of a one-to-15 ratio by 2009.

    From [url=http://www.stuff.co.nz/4207807a11.html] here [/lurl].
    Mother Bear

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