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Redundancies Inevitable At Education Ministry

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Karen Sewell
Karen Sewell

Wellington, March 11 NZPA - Some redundancies are inevitable at the Education Ministry as it seeks to prune $25 million from its $441 million budget, Education Secretary Karen Sewell said today.

Education Minister Anne Tolley said the savings were being sought by 2012/2013 to address increasing cost pressures and savings would be made as the ministry "reshaped" its role.

Ms Sewell said jobs were already being cut through attrition, but redundancies were a certainty -- although she declined to give any indication of numbers.

"It would be irresponsible of me to even suggest that at this stage..."

The ministry would concentrate its resources where they would make the most difference, with the first changes coming over the next 18 months, she said.

The Government has asked the ministry to focus more on front line regional support for schools and ECE (early childhood education) services, with less national office bureaucracy.

Labour's education spokesman Trevor Mallard said the cuts would negatively impact on education quality as a result of less research and less teacher and curriculum development.

He said any savings should come from holding back the tens of millions of dollars being spent to implement the new national standards scheme in schools.

Public Service Association national secretary Brenda Pilott also expressed concerns about potential effects a funding squeeze would have on the delivery of education services.

"Our concern is that in cutting $25 million the ministry will end up eroding the support network it has for its front line services.

"This will mean staff in front line roles will become increasingly tied up in doing administrative work and the delivery of service at the front line will suffer."

Ms Sewell said it was her role to ensure front line staff continued to operate with all the support needed to do their jobs well.

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