Education Minister Anne Tolley says that the movement of students away from Christchurch and within the city since the February earthquake will result in a redistribution of resources for schools.
3500 students from Christchurch remain enrolled in schools outside the city, while over 1500 students have moved to different schools within Christchurch.
The Government guaranteed to keep teacher numbers at pre-February 2011 levels until the end of this year, and is also funding schools for the number of students they had before the earthquake, as well as providing funding at their new school.
“Students who have moved because of the earthquakes have not left the education system, and we are now effectively redistributing resources from one area to another, be that within the city, within the region, or within New Zealand,” says Mrs Tolley.
“Schools in Christchurch and around the country are being sent their provisional staffing entitlements for next year, as we ensure we have the right number of teachers in the right places to meet the on-going needs of our students.
“Staffing levels directly correlate to student numbers, and the 2012 teacher entitlements will reflect the change in enrolment patterns in the wake of the earthquake.
“This means that schools whose rolls have increased will naturally have extra teachers, while falling rolls will see some reduction in staffing levels at other schools.”
The overall staffing entitlements for Christchurch schools in 2012 will be 167 less than March 2011, or 4.5 per cent of the teacher workforce of 3690, compared to the 9 per cent of teachers who leave the profession in Christchurch every year.
This does not equate to 167 jobs, as many schools will lose only part of an entitlement, and could choose to make up for this out of their operational budgets.
It is expected that attrition and the completion of fixed term contracts will largely account for any job losses. Where this is not the case, redundancy support of thirty or forty school weeks salary could be available to permanent full-time staff, according to collective agreements, from Term One 2012.
The Ministry will now work with unions and the New Zealand School Trustees Assocation to provide advice and support to schools through this process.
“As the movement of students and their families continues within Christchurch, we are continuing to face challenges about what the future of education provision will look like in the city,” says Mrs Tolley.
“We will soon be announcing widespread consultation with communities and the education sector, as we plan for the decades ahead to make sure that Christchurch students get the best possible education.”