25 Apr 2012

Teacher union backs Northland school takeover

1:37 pm on 25 April 2012

Secondary teachers' union the PPTA has congratulated the Ministry of Education for taking firm action against a Northland primary school.

The Ministry sacked Moerewa School's board on Monday and closed its unit for Year 11, 12 and 13 pupils, a move supported by secondary teachers' union the PPTA.

PPTA president Robin Duff says the unit had only two teachers for all the secondary school subjects required by the unit's 17 students.

"Not only are you putting those teachers at considerable risk because they're simply not trained and certainly not qualified in all those subject areas.

"And so what you're likely to get is considerable amount of failure and frustration from the students that they're taking, and in the end results that are, as it would seem already, not impressive."

Mr Duff says students are denied the specialised support they need if primary schools retain them after Year 9.

However the Principals' Federation says the Education Ministry should have worked with the school to improve its results rather than removing its Board of Trustees.

Vice-president Phil Harding says collaborating with schools is the only way the ministry can raise the achievement of Maori students.

"Surely if you've got parents and community right in behind the school, if you've got students turning up to school and engaged in their learning, it's worth having a really good nudge at making that model work."

The Education Ministry says it was forced to act as the senior students failed to meet New Zealand Qualifications Authority standards.