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Removing teachers affects students

RIA ELKINGTON
Last updated 05:00 24/06/2014

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A proposed new policy aimed at improving student achievement could have the opposite affect, some North Shore schools say.

Takapuna Intermediate principal Owen Alexander says the move will affect students' learning.

The plan involves the best teachers and principals being taken out of their schools twice a week to manage a group of up to 10 schools in their communities, he says.

"This will affect engagement between a teacher and a student and will be disruptive to student's learning," Alexander says.

Ministry of Education deputy secretary Graham Stoop says providing funding for reliever teachers will minimise disruption.

The policy is still being developed and the ministry will continue to consider feedback and answer questions, he says.

A group representing 22 North Shore schools says what is being proposed won't work.

The proposed changes are designed to invest $359 million into education.

Alexander says it would be the biggest change in the education system in 25 years but the money could be better spent.

"I would start by investing in more resources, teachers, teacher aides, school counsellors and special needs resources and facilities," he says.

He also worries that teachers will struggle with the workload.

"I couldn't do it. I have been employed to run my school in the most effective and efficient way to do what is best for my students.

"To think that I could actually go and spend time giving advice and managing 10 other schools as well, would take up more than two days worth of my time and energy," he says.

A letter detailing the schools' concerns has been sent to Minister of Education Hekia Parata.

FOUR ROLES

How Ministry of Education expects the policy to work:

The policy will create four new management roles: an executive principal, a change principal, an expert teacher and a lead teacher.

The ministry says these roles will improve student achievement by placing the best teachers and principals in roles that will allow them to share expert knowledge across the group of schools they will manage.

It also believes this will improve the quality of staff performance by having management set goals for staff to achieve.

Relievers will also be funded to fill in for managers while they are working with the other school.

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