8 Jun 2012

Rural relief about school ratio backdown

10:48 pm on 8 June 2012

Rural Women New Zealand is relieved by the Government backdown on changes to class sizes, but is concerned new education cutbacks may be around the corner.

Education Minister Hekia Parata announced on Thursday that the Government is reversing its Budget plan to change the teacher to student ratio.

The proposed change would have meant class ratios would have increased from one teacher to 23 students, to one to 27 for years two, three, nine and 10.

Federated Farmers opposed the move, saying larger class sizes would make it harder to attract teachers to rural schools which are already understaffed.

Rural Women chief executive Noleen Holt says teachers she has spoken to are delighted by the backdown, but are concerned about where new cuts may now be made.

''They've got to find that other money, but their question was: 'Will rural be a soft target?'''