Following a decision by teachers to strike on 15 August, the board of trustees has made the decision to close the school that day.
NZEI, the teachers’ union, has been in negotiation with the government as the current Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement came to an end on 8 June this year.
The three main points of negotiation at issue are as follows:
Fixing the teacher shortage crisis
- Schools are struggling to recruit and retain teachers and there is a drop in the number of people choosing to train as teachers.
- NZEI is seeking a significant pay increase.
Time and workload
- Workloads are increasing.
- There aren’t enough resources available for supporting children with additional learning needs.
- NZEI is seeking to reduce the teacher:student ratio for years 4 – 8 students from 1:29 down to 1:25.
- Staffing and resourcing entitlements for schools to employ and train a SENCO (special needs co ordinator). Replace the current classroom release time (CRT) with professional practice time (PPT) equivalent to 20 hours per fulltime teacher per term.
- More teacher resourcing for each class to give the regular teacher time to complete professional responsibilities, such as assessment, that are difficult to do whilst responsible for a class.
Issues with salary and relativities
- Options for career development vary from school to school.
- Issues with relativity and there is limited recognition for teachers and principals with specialist skills
On 15th August VAS teachers will join others at a march / rally. Teachers want to carry a banner which has signatures from VAS parents who support the teachers as they endeavour to improve their conditions and pay. If you would like to sign this banner, it will be available outside room 6, near where the bake sale is, on Friday 3rd and Friday 10th from 3pm.
I am pleased to announce that Tessa Fastnedge, teacher in room 4, has given birth to a healthy baby boy. We have been sent photos and he is gorgeous.
Great excitement! After a creeping delay due to the weather, we opened the new playground on Monday. The children love it and each break there is a stampede of children racing towards it. At the moment we are restricting each break time to just one year level each day in order to keep the numbers down. We intend doing this for 3 weeks, after which time it will be open for all children.
Please note that we have strict rules around numbers on the swing and the UFO. These numbers are the ones recommended to us from the installer and are designed to keep children safe. If you let your child play on it after school, please help us by reinforcing that only 4 children at a time on the swing and 6 children at a time sitting on the UFO whilst others push them around.
Please ensure that just 1 child at a time is climbing up the ladder and climbing walls, coming down the slide and fireman’s pole.
Dragon on Dragon Drive
Our beloved dragon is looking decidedly faded. One of our lovely parents, Craig Hill, is currently sourcing appropriate paint and has taken it upon himself to organise / co ordinate a parent working bee to repaint the dragon during spring. Normally we would involve children in the painting but it is a 2 pot process and given the nature of the chemicals, it is not suitable for children to apply the paint.
A few repairs need to be made to the drive before the painting and Craig is looking for anyone who has access to the following: concrete grinder, concrete cutter, jackhammer as well as a concrete supply.
If you are able to help with supplying these when we do the working bee, please email Joanne Henderson [email protected]