A good idea

Schools will be allowed to change opening times allowing them the flexibility to better use resources. This simple rule change negates the need for building extra schools, it is a smart an sensible idea, one that is used in places like Korea. Of course we can expect the bloshie teacher unions to oppose this for some arcane and ideological reason like the teachers will have to share carparks or some other nonsense.

Don’t you just love the way the media try to make this sound negative by calling it double bunking?

Children could be forced into “double-bunked” mega schools under Education Act changes.

One of the country’s biggest schools is already considering its options after changes that allow boards to set new start times – meaning they could offer morning and afternoon programmes from the same school, effectively doubling student numbers.

The time-shifting changes are covered in the Education Amendment Bill, lodged in Parliament last week, and extend nationwide the flexible timetabling allowed in Christchurch schools after the Canterbury earthquake.

The bill also introduces charter schools, proposes the development of national student numbers, and gives teachers the right to seize and search student cellphones.

Mt Albert Grammar School headmaster Dale Burden says flexible timetables could be useful for popular schools operating at capacity. “Given the demand we have and the growth – we have around 2000 students but could easily have 4000 who want to be here – it would work.

“It is sensible in one way, because schools close at 3pm and there are all these unused rooms until 9am the next day,” he said. “From the ministry’s point of view, you could agree a case for a better use of resources.”

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