Principals urge Education Department to avoid staff cuts as student numbers drop

“Eventually these children will come back and we may not have the teachers available anymore,” he said.

“There’s also the fact that we could use these teachers here to really help our kids who we know are falling behind.”

Waitākere Area Principals Association president Tony Biddick said many schools in the area were short of students.

“We know they’re here, we know they might even skate in front of school sometimes, or they’ve disappeared from our radar, but we know they’ll be back,” he said. -he declares.

“Staffing calculations are ongoing at the moment and many schools will have fewer numbers physically in their school, but please know that these children are somewhere nearby and will return in the future.”

He said schools should keep their staff unchanged until next year because children need more support than ever.

“We have a whole plethora of students coming to our schools after two and a half years of COVID with very diverse learning needs. The number of these children has just increased exponentially and it’s not just in the Waitākere area. I know from my colleagues in Auckland it’s all over Auckland.”

Federation of Head Teachers President Cherie Taylor-Patel said she supported the call to protect staff.

“Nobody at the moment wants to leave really good staff knowing that you’re probably going to get those students back. [in the] second half of this year,” she said.

The Ministry of Education has protected school staff in the past.

Last year it decided to halve any major staff cuts at Auckland schools for 2022, and also played down cuts at smaller schools.

He said he would look closely at any cuts for 2023.

“Although it may not be possible to maintain all staffing and funding rights at current levels, we will take a pragmatic approach and work closely with school leaders. Where there is evidence that ‘A drop in the number of people is temporary, we will help schools reduce the impact,’ the ministry said.

He said some changes in school rosters would be due to the pandemic, but others were due to changes in the local population.

RNZ