Intermediate schools to protest against class sizes

By Audrey Young, Newstalk ZB

MP Hekia Parata. Photo / NZ Herald
MP Hekia Parata. Photo / NZ Herald

Intermediate schools will cease co-operation with the Ministry of Education in some areas as a form of protest at the new class sizes, the Association of Intermediate and Middle Schooling executive has decided.

The association is also demanding a reversal of the new staffing funding formula which was forecast to save $43 million a year to be diverted to improving teacher quality.

After an outcry at the plans which meant some schools could have lost the equivalent of seven full-time staff, the Government capped the maximum positions lost at two over three years.

The NZAIMS executive in a statement is calling on all member school "to review current relationships with the Ministry of Education initiatives, for example data collection at the Year 7 and 8 level being undertaken by Otago University for the Ministry of Education, and not proceed.."

"The Ministry of Education has broken the relationship it had with intermediate and middle schools through savagely attacking staffing levels," it said.

"Until a working relationship is restored, NZAIMS requests member schools take this action."

Earlier today, Education Minister Hekia Parata faced a vocal protest in Wellington as she arrived for a breakfast speech to be confronted by around a hundred angry intermediate school teachers - and some of their pupils.

The crowd held up banners and signs that said things like 'Do your homework', 'What the heck-a-ya', and 'Kiwis are creative', to 'Save our technology'.

Ms Parata arrived to people chanting 'Heck no Hekia', and the group was extremely loud.

For the second day in a row, Ms Parata is out selling the changes to education funding in the Budget, hoping to save $43 million by increasing class sizes and improving teacher quality.

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