Schools lose teachers as rolls fall

ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY
Last updated 05:00 30/11/2012

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Waimate High School and Temuka's Opihi College are facing staff cuts because of likely roll decline next year.

When a school's roll falls or the Education Ministry predicts a decline, the CAPNA (Curriculum and Pastoral Needs Analysis) formula process is used to calculate any changes necessary to staff numbers.

Waimate High School board of trustees announced last week it would be forced to lose staff. The ministry projected a roll of 279 for 2013; the 2012 March roll was 335, a difference of 16.7 per cent.

Principal Janette Packman said the school's technology teacher, who has been on sick leave since June, will finish at the end of this year.

Two part-time teachers and one fulltime teacher may also be finishing.

Mrs Packman said fewer students were coming through from the primary schools but an increase was projected for the beginning of 2014.

"Whether a teacher is reinstated or not in 2014 will depend on whether their teaching subjects are in the area that will be needed."

Three of the teachers had voluntarily opted out under the surplus staffing provisions, a similar process to voluntary redundancy, so would not be looking for reinstatement in either 2013 or 2014, she said.

Opihi College principal Mike Wright said his school had negotiated with the ministry over its roll predictions of 263, whereas the school had "evidence in September of 293". The ministry finally compromised at 278.

"We are confident we will have more than 293," Mr Wright said.

On Tuesday, Mr Wright had ministry approval for a 2.8 FTE (fulltime teacher equivalent) reduction from last year.

If the actual roll in March 2013 at either school generates a greater staffing entitlement than predicted, the increased entitlement is backdated to the beginning of the staffing year, according to the ministry.

Funding will then be recalculated on the March 1 figure as well and backdated to the beginning of the year.

Timaru Girls' High School is anticipating an increase of about 20 students taking its roll to 380.

Also looking at a jump is Mountainview High School, which had a roll of 538 this year and a prediction of 545 next year.

The remaining South Canterbury high schools have had no change.

Timaru Boys' High School will be stable at about 700 students. Craighead numbers remain at 360 and Mackenzie College is static at 204. Roncalli College continues at its maximum of 520.

Geraldine High School will return to its usual figure of 585 after a spike this year of 620 caused by earthquake refugees.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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