New Zealand Labour Party

Fewer frontline staff in education despite spin

While National is busy trumpeting less back office public servants, it has glossed over the fact there are fewer frontline staff in special education and teacher numbers are falling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“There are now 41 fewer front line special education staff than there were in 2011. Special education advisors have also been cut by 33 per cent from 171 in 2008 to 116 last year. 

“At the same time public relations staff at the Ministry of Education have doubled.

“Of most concern is that the latest publicly available data shows the overall teacher numbers have declined since 2010.

“Paula Bennett claims National is clamping down on wasteful bureaucracy through ‘ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services’.

“This is nothing but hypocrisy a Government which has presided over departmental spending on items such as hair straighteners, model sheep and giant television screens.

“If the State Services Minister believes spending on front line staff for special needs students is wasteful, she should tell that to their parents,” Chris Hipkins says.