Social work positions at schools reinstated
Presbyterian Support has executed an about-turn and reinstated the position of Mayfield School family support worker Bonnie Te Tau, of Blenheim, after it was cut at the end of last month.
The social work positions at four schools in Marlborough - Mayfield, Picton, Waikawa Bay, and St Josephs in Picton – were cut after a review of Presbyterian Support's overall expenditure in the first half of the year.
However, with $49,000 funding from the Social Development Ministry's Community Response Fund approved at the end of May, the schools have been equipped with its former support service for pupils.
Mrs Te Tau had worked at Mayfield School for almost six years, 26 hours a week, before her position was cut on June 26.
She was pleased to receive her new employment agreement signed earlier this week to resume her position at the school next term, despite a reduction in hours.
"It's only 10 hours, so it's gone back a third salary-wise, but it's good to be back at the school," she said.
Presbyterian Support Upper South Island regional manager Chris Walsh said it was advertising for a part-time position for the schools in Picton as the former support worker had already left the region, a decision made earlier in the year.
The Picton schools had received the bulk of the previous funding. A smaller portion had gone to Mayfield School and the balance had been funded by Presbyterian Support, he said.
The organisation no longer had the luxury of being able to top up the service from its resources. Funding for the social work positions was for 12 months from the beginning of each appointment.
Mr Walsh did not respond to an emailed question on why the regional body had reneged on its initial job cuts.
"The best part is that the schools and community continue to receive assistance as and where needed," he said.
Mayfield School principal David Nott could not be reached for comment.
- The Marlborough Express