27 Jun 2009

Funding cut worries education union

6:36 am on 27 June 2009

A teachers' union says the Government's plans to cut professional development programmes for early childhood teachers is a step backwards for education.

NZEI spokesperson Hayley Whitaker says professional development advisers play a vital role in training and supporting early childhood teachers and services.

Ms Whitaker says the Ministry of Education does not intend to renew the current contracts until next year, which could affect the jobs of about 200 people, many of whom are part time.

She says putting professional development programmes on hold undermines the sector's efforts to improve the quality of education,and valuable expertise will be lost if jobs are cut.

The NZEI plans to lobby MPs and the Minister of Education with its concerns. The Education Minister and the ministry have so far been unavailable for comment.