Saturday, May 26, 2012
New Staffing Levels will impact Student Achievement
The rhetoric that quality is better than quantity, like any political sound bite, makes sense when first heard - but only when taken out of context of the full picture. We are a school that has a passionate, committed staff of quality teachers. They collaborate together to ensure that we leave no stone unturned in making our children’s learning journeys as successful as possible. Part of making sure that happens means that class size does matter. Already from the new Ministry formula that they will apply for allocating school staffing next year our school could lose at least .3 of a full time teacher out of an allocation of approximately 9.63. To put that figure in context, that is what helps funds our specialist learning support in 2012 every morning for reading and maths. Our Minister of Education keeps saying - its schools that decide about class sizes, however, you can only cut up a pie into so many pieces depending on the size of the pie you’ve been given! Next years pie is determined from figures taken by the Ministry at 1 March and 1 July of the current year. If we lose the staffing that funds our student support then our choices are either bigger classes, no student support, try to fund it from within the actual operating grant (which takes away from other curriculum support) or fundraise for it (that is ask parents for more!) Is this giving our children the best chance of progressing in their learning - no matter what their achievement level? What do you think? Below is a brilliant sketch from "Saturday Night Armistice" uploaded in June 2010 - which gives a satirical look at, what has now, become very topical for the New Zealand situation.