Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Opportunity lost

The half cohort was a wonderful opportunity for DET to regain some lost pride and gain momentum in the public sector. It was an opportunity to reduce class sizes for no extra cost in high schools even if the reduction was only in the short term. Lower class sizes could have meant lower staff/student ratios, increased opportunity for intervention and a real marketing advantage against mid range private schools (where class sizes have increased). This could have attracted a lot of students back to the public sector that have been lost due to issues with BMIS, the half cohort and OBE.

Unfortunately, schools are adjusting their teacher ratios down causing issues with maintaining a range of course offerings. This raises the possibility of actually increasing class sizes as year groups are being combined into single classrooms (in an attempt to maintain diversity in offered courses) and also increases the complexity by teaching students of increased variation of maturity. It is likely that more teachers will teach in areas outside their specialisation (fewer teachers means fewer timetabling options). Admin time will be spent on deciding who will go and how losses will be managed over the next five years.

It's pointless and a waste of resources.

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