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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  • thor42

    A **great** idea!
    More children at school, more jobs for teachers. Gee – how could the education sector **possibly** object?
    No, wait… silly question…..

  • Mediaan

    Right. No business could afford to use highly expensive plant and property in the wasteful way that schools do.
    Why spend a lot on grounds, classroom blocks, administration blocks, gymnasia, libraries and the rest of it then leave it idle about two-thirds of each weekday (and all weekend).

  • thats fantastic. thats just the kind of “thinking outside the box” stuff this country needs.

  • greybeard

    I know this is not about schools but it is along the same lines.
    Last year, after hearing that the Capital Connection train from Palmerston North to Wellington may be cancelled due to costs I sent this email to Trans Scenic railways : “What does the Capital Connection train do between 8:20am and 5:15pm ? Does it just sit at the Wgtn station ?”.
    Their reply: “Thank you for your enquiry. Yes, this train sits at the Wellington railway Station during this time. For further enquiries please do not hesitate to contact us.”.I was astounded and thought it merited some sort of comment. Or analysis. Or criticism.What other business in NZ leaves an asset worth MILLIONS just sitting around all day doing nothing ? And what does the train crew do for this slack period ?Holy Mackerel…………………….

  • This is fantastic. You can tune things….

    1. Teenage boys are horrible first thing in the AM. The local Boys High school already starts at 9 AM not 8:30 AM like some of the girls schools were I live. This could be moved back to even later.

    2. In Auckland, where there is no room, you could have one set of houses having lessons from 8 AM to 12:30 (allowing one half hour break and 4 hours of classroom time and the ohter half from 1 PM to 5. You could have the cultural activities — music lessons, sports practice, drama, site visits occur out of sequence. And if you use a house system, you could then use Saturday morning for inter house sport and combined rehearsals.

    Heck, you could do that everywhere we the Dept of Education is short of Grounds.

    3. Teachers have a de facto performance pay. They can get a salary for doing 4 h teaching time (which is in fact what they do now, there is around 1.5 hours of “gaps” in the standard school day) OR they can extend into either teaching extra activities and get more pay or teaching two classes and get even more pay. It’s called job sizing: if you combine it with basic Quality initiatives such as peer groups and scheduled peer review of teaching it could work.

    However, none of these are PPTA ideas. I expect howls of opposition.

  • viking

    There are many,many families whose parents are either shift workers or who run businesses that work outside of the 8- 4.30 norm. Many run late such as takeawys and resturants. No reason why they shouldn’t have a school system that mirrors those hours or at least some of them.