Time for a number of Christchurch schools to learn what the Government has in store for them. Earlier this year interim decisions for education restructuring in the city were made, seeing 19 schools closed or merged, and 12 kept open. Education Minister Hekia Parata will announce her final decisions on the proposals in Christchurch this afternoon.
A Northland principal is calling for heads to roll in the Education Ministry as the Novopay debacle continues into the Christmas holiday period. The $30 million staff payroll system by Australian firm Talent2 has been causing headaches since it was introduced in August. Education Minister Hekia Parata dismissed initial complaints and assured principals the problems would be ironed out in the first few weeks. However, errors have continued almost unabated.
A Rotorua principal says scrapping Novopay altogether may be the only way to fix teacher pay problems. The Ministry of Education announced last week that it would consider moving forward a planned review into the Novopay system. Secondary Principals' Association of New Zealand president and John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh said scrapping the system, and returning to the old payroll system, might not be politically palatable but it could be the Government's only option.
The Government is talking about raising student achievement where every teacher by 2015 must have a Masters degree but now theyre contradicting themselves and saying you dont have to be qualified or registered. In the medical profession, its like saying you dont have to be qualified to be a doctor and this is the same. I feel this is detrimental for the whole teaching profession, Mr Randell said. Robert Hyndman, president of Western Bay of Plenty Principal Association and principal of
The Minister of Education, Hekia Parata, yesterday backtracked on the changes made to student-to-teacher ratios and Rotorua Principals' Association president Deborah Epp is over the moon with the decision. "It's great news, and I say that simply because it does not put our children's learning opportunities at risk," she said. "I would say this is a response to the huge parental concern. "It is great to know that when parents make their views heard they are listened to."
Parata shocked principals by moving forward the date for the proposed closures and mergers to next year. Schools had previously been told they would have at least two years to plan for the changes. Parata said the dates had been brought forward to provide certainty for pupils, parents, staff and the wider community
He ignored growing calls from school principals and teacher unions to dump Ms Parata, whom last year struggled through a series of controversies in her education portfolio, including class sizes, mergers, charter schools and the ongoing Novopay debacle. "This government is very vulnerable on being seen as out of touch, and maybe being seen as a club of rich, white, old men, and so they desperately need to modernise," says Mr Edwards.