29 May 2012
I knew there was a question to ask about the debate on the changes to the staff / student ratios and I am glad I asked it. Of course, as is de rigueur in such instances, I was abused for asking why some schools were claiming large reductions when the ratios in fact did not produce any.
Well the answer is clear now and I thank those who helped me out and as this morning’s NZ Herald makes abundantly clear, the issue is not in the ratios but in a staffing allowance that has been axed at the same time – the allowance for technology teachers in intermediate schools.
An intermediate with 1000 students will lose 6.45 teachers based on losing the 1: 120 for technology and a change from 1:29 to 1:27.5 in the teacher student ratio.
This is a significant change and should have been made explicit in the releases and subsequent reactions. Discussion can now focus on this one issue and resolve it one way or another. Is it an unintended consequence or the result of over sight? Or is it a decision that the allowance should end? Both these possibilities lead to a different sort of discussion and a different resolution.
And resolved it must be – it involves a huge number of people – about 460 in total.