Monday, May 21, 2012

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

The recent National government’s plan to lift class sizes and introduce performance pay is a huge concern to all teachers, school Board of Trustees but most importantly to us as parents.

Many schools will lose teachers or at the very least have their staffing negatively effected to a significant degree which will simply mean a lot more children in each individual class with less scope to support children who are finding learning a struggle.

I wish I could believe that the people who are advocating lifting class sizes to over 30 pupils in the junior school had taught in these conditions or had been a parent of a child in these classes but I am relatively confident in saying that they won’t have.  I taught in a Private school in the U.K. where parents paid huge fees to ensure that their children were in small classes and the level achievement that these children attained was exceptional compared to the state school pupils who routinely had 30 plus per class.

When I returned to New Zealand I found that class sizes had decreased to the levels that we currently have and that achievement was increasing accordingly, to a level that showed (as it still does) that New Zealand is a leading light in World Education.

The arguments put forward in support of the lifting of class sizes are, I believe purely economic.  No rational argument can be put forward to support that teaching 30 pupils will achieve better results than teaching 25, it’s simply not logical.  But the real shame if these changes come to pass is that the pupils who need extra support to achieve; the Governments so called long tail, will be exactly the pupils who will again miss out.

But I believe it is not too late to change the direction that these changes are head to as all politicians dislike not

being popular.  If enough people share my concerns at these proposed changes nation wide then perhaps this error will not come to pass.  If you want to let the Prime Minister know of your concerns them simply email him at and share your concerns with him.


Have a great week.

Mike Brosnahan


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