Torbay School Notification of a Paid Union meeting

Wednesday March 20th 1.30pm

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

I would like to inform you that our staff will be involved in a Paid Union Meeting  at 1.30pm on the 20th of March. As the vast majority of our staff will be attending the meeting it will be unsafe for our school to remain open for afternoon school.

We seek your support by making alternative arrangement for your children’s care on that afternoon and collecting or arranging for the collection of your children at 12.30pm.

We thank you for your continued support in our endeavour to secure a successful conclusion to this campaign. We as a profession need to regain our status and improve our terms and condition so that we attract the best people we can to teaching.

Staffing in 2019

Last year was a difficult one for New Zealand schools as the teacher shortage worsened. The number of those training to teach fell and qualified teachers continued to leave the profession for better paid and less stressful jobs. Relief teacher availability was at critically low levels, with schools forced to split classes and reduce specialist programmes.  

At Torbay School we managed our way through the crisis with minimal disruption for our students. In 2019 we will continue to do everything in our power to maintain the quality teaching our children deserve. We have begun the year fully staffed but will have further vacancies appearing during the year and I anticipate they will not be easy to fill with quality teachers.

We are concerned that the ongoing teacher shortage will impact as the year progresses. The most recent official figures show that despite the arrival of 200 overseas trained teachers, there are still hundreds of unfilled vacancies across the country. As the year rolls out and personal circumstances of teachers change and illness bites, there may be occasions where our school will be obliged to split classes, increase the size of some classes or reduce specialist programmes for children. We will keep you informed of any developments in this area.

Our children deserve a ready supply of talented and inspiring teachers, who have the time and resources to give every child the attention they need.

Through our union, teachers and principals are continuing to push the Ministry of Education to take bold steps to solve the staffing crisis and deliver quality learning for students. We look forward to the continuing support of parents and whānau in the coming months.

We really do appreciate your support in achieving our goals.

Ngā mihi nui

Gary O’Brien