Is this really what our techno-savvy economy needs?

Friday May 25, 2012
  • They’re taking the DIY out of our DNA!
  • They’re giving us UFB and taking away our apps!
  • The film industry doesn’t need visual arts and performing arts! Tui.


Three consequences of a non-Budget announcement on Budget Day

Technology staff will now be incorporated in Years 2-10 curriculum staffing ratios .. .and will no longer be calculated separately from other staffing ratios.

The ‘curriculum’ or ‘homeroom’ ratios have recently been increased to a ratio of 1 teacher to 27.5 students.

The current technology staffing ratio is 1 teacher to 120 students.

If the intention is, as the announcement appears, that technology staffing is being eliminated then the increase in class sizes will be considerable.

In Intermediate schools, where all students qualify for technology education, if the school decides to retain the present technology teaching content, the homeroom class size will be 35.7 students, not 27.5.

Schools are much more likely to cut technology content, and this is:

  • ‘Hard materials, fabric and food’ (our DIY)
  • ICT (our computer apps)
  • Visual and performing arts (our culture and film industry)


It would be quite a saving, however. The age cohort at years 7 and 8 is around 60,000 students, so for those two years there are about 120,000 students. Abolishing the technology staffing component would seem to reduce teacher numbers by 1,000. How many $million would then be ‘re-prioritised’ towards Charter Schools and performance pay? But will our kids be better equipped to get into the skills training we need to grow a smart economy?

BERL has recently done work for the Industry Training Federation that shows the (expected) strong economic benefits to technology and industry training. Cutting funding for technology teaching in intermediates sends some fairly confusing messages as to our future investments.