CLOUD OVER OUR SMALL SCHOOLS

Teacher hours may be at risk as un­cer­tainty grows over stu­dent en­rol­ment num­bers

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Philippe Coquerand philippe.coquerand@cnbtimes.com.au

BOYNEWOOD State School is fac­ing the prospect of cut­ting teacher hours with stu­dent num­bers at the small school in de­cline.

Dur­ing the re­cent school hol­i­days an­other stu­dent left the school, re­duc­ing the num­ber of pupils to 26.

School prin­ci­pal Hayley Kar­dash said if en­rol­ment num­bers dropped be­low 25, they may be forced to cut staff hours or in­stead pocket the ex­pense from their own bud­get.

First year teacher Sa­man­tha Mathers, who works along­side fel­low teacher Trudie Roth, said it would be a ma­jor shame if that were to hap­pen.

“I love my job and Boynewood is a great school and it would be very sad,” Miss Mathers said.

“If we do lose a teacher or the hours are cut it would be detri­men­tal for the stu­dents’ learn­ing, hav­ing seven grades in one class room.

“It’s not ben­e­fi­cial and would not be ef­fec­tive at all.”

If staff hours are re­duced, Ms Kar­dash could as­sume a full-time teach­ing role as well as ful­fill­ing the du­ties as prin­ci­pal.

“If we lost more kids and a teacher there would def­i­nitely be a hole miss­ing in the school,” Miss Mathers said.

Teacher Trudie Roth wor­ries her hours could be on the line if these changes were to hap­pen.

“The small school sys­tems are fan­tas­tic and it would be a shame and I’d miss it,” Mrs Roth said.

Miss Mathers be­lieves Boynewood is one of the best schools she’s been to.

“We im­ple­ment a whole new teach­ing prac­tice in the school, we take away from the ex­plic­it­ness where the chil­dren ac­tu­ally have a say in the class­room,” she said.

“It’s a much more hands on ap­proach to stu­dent learn­ing and more en­gag­ing.

“I’ve seen huge results from the pro­gram this year and in years to come, it will be very suc­cess­ful.”

Miss Mathers also be­lieves the school has a very sup­port­ive net­work.

“Not only that we have a huge sup­port net­work where we look at all ar­eas in­clud­ing the learn­ing sup­port as well as our ex­ten­sion kids and we’re able to pro­vide all op­por­tu­ni­ties for the kids.”

Miss Kar­dash rec­om­mends Boynewood State School to all stu­dents.

“It’s a school that pro­vides a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion that caters for learn­ing needs in a safe and sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment,” she said.

For en­rol­ment inquiries phone 4165 6192.

The Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment in time for pub­li­ca­tion.

PHOTO: PHILIPPE COQUERAND

CLASS AC­TION: Teach­ers Trudie Roth and Sa­man­tha Mathers with Boynewood stu­dents Greer Muir­head and Emily Young.

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