18 Jul 2008

Govt aims for two teacher minimum at every school

2:01 pm on 18 July 2008

Education Minister Chris Carter says sole-charge schools are unsafe and the Government aims to have a minimum of two teachers in every school, if re-elected.

Mr Carter told the School Trustees Association conference in Christchurch on Friday that if he is still Education Minister next year, one of his priorities will be to have no sole-charge schools.

He believes it is not safe for students or teachers to have only one teacher in a school.

"I've been concerned for some time about sole-charge schools. We have 100 sole-charge schools in New Zealand and I wish to move towards having no sole-charge schools at all and that every school to have a minimum of two teachers," he says.

Mr Carter says about 70 extra teachers would be needed to boost staffing.

The minister told the conference another priority if the Government wins this year's election will be an in-depth review of education for children with special needs, even if that means radical reorganisation of special education.

Addressing hundreds of school trustees, Mr Carter appeared to soften his stance on the touchy issue for schools of operational funding.

In a recent spat with a group of North Shore principals over funding, Mr Carter said schools were getting enough money.

But on Friday he said he acknowledges the financial pressure on schools and he will soon announce some options for schools to pay for computer technology - a huge drain on school budgets.