1 Jun 2012

No intention of closing technology centres - ministry

8:41 pm on 1 June 2012

The Ministry of Education says there is no intention of closing technology centres at intermediate and middle schools.

Teachers and parents are angry at the Government's proposal for funding changes that would result in teacher cuts and larger class sizes. There is concern that could mean technology centres could close.

Ministry chief executive Lesley Longstone told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Friday that is very unlikely, and technology centres should have nothing to fear if they are delivering high quality.

However, Ms Longstone said schools will never accept the reductions and the ministry has always known the issue would be hard to sell.

The ministry is standing by the advice it gave Education Minister Hekia Parata on increasing class sizes and cutting teachers.

Ms Longstone said only 10% of schools would lose more than one fulltime teaching position.

She said that while decreasing class sizes can help some children, the basis of the ministry's advice to Ms Parata was that quality teaching is paramount.

The secondary teachers union says Ms Longstone needs to stop being a mouthpiece and defending the Government on its decision.

Post Primary Teachers Association president Robin Duff says she needs to take a stand.