Prime Minister John Key has stepped into the class sizes row and says under fire education minister Hekia Parata needs to talk to teacher unions.
Ms Parata has refused to meet an alliance of teachers and unions but says she will consider a discussion with them down the track.
Mr Key said he had not discussed the matter with her but the Government accepted that teacher unions played an important role in implementing policy.
“It is important she engages with them…in the end the government’s got its policy but the administration of that policy happens through schools themselves and the unions play an important role in that.”
Whether she met them collectively or individually “is for another day”.
The Government is proposing changes to the class size formula that would see schools lose no more than two teachers each over the next few years.
Mr Key says the money will be reinvested in teacher education.
“In reality we are saying over the course of a three year period the maximum impact on any school can be two [full time equivalent teachers]. Now that that is not a dramatic impact.over all.”
The Government was trying to lift teacher quality and most parents would acknowledge that needed to happen.
“Like us they can see there has been a big [rise] in teacher numbers in the last 10 years and a relatively limited increase in the output coming from our schools so something has got to change.”
- © Fairfax NZ News
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