Principal’s Address 31st May 201931st May 2019
Kia Ora Tatou
This week has been somewhat unusual with the commencement of industrial action by PPTA and NZEI. Whilst I do appreciate the potential for inconvenience for parents when students are not able to attend school the negotiations with the government are important. The current claim is not limited to pay. Over the years the work load for teachers has increased. This is having a significant impact upon the ability for our professionals to provide all the support and opportunities that are expected by parents and the wider community.
At South Otago High School we do have dedicated staff who provide high quality education for our students. They also volunteer their time to run sports teams, manage different codes, run our school trips, run camps and a host of other activities. This work is largely un-paid and only occurs with the goodwill of teachers who realise that this is important to young people and enables positive relationships to develop and some soft skills such as team work, collaboration, self organisation and communication to develop in a different setting.
South Otago High School has not been immune to teachers leaving the profession to take up other opportunities outside of education. During the last few years there have been three teachers leave and this represents nearly 10% of our teaching staff. It is essential that the profession is seen as appealing to retain the good teachers we have and to encourage more to enter the profession.
The decision to take industrial action is not taken lightly by our caring and passionate teachers.
Senior night of the ball
Last Friday the Ball Committee put on an excellent event. It was, for me, the most enjoyable SNOB I have attended in the last four years. The student behaviour was exemplary and the students looked so smart. At the end of the night I stood by the door, as I usually do, to say good night to the departing students and encourage them to look after each other. Nearly everyone said thank you and most stopped to shake my hand as they left. It was quite unexpected and a small gesture that meant so much. It was also good to see so many senior students stay on and assist with the clean up and within 30 minutes the hall was set for the next days gymnastic competition.
A special thank you to the staff who attended and also to all of the parents who worked to make the night a great success.
The school has just been informed that Keely Hill (Year 11) has made the Under 18 Māori Girls Rugby Squad. This is a fantastic achievement and we look forward to reporting her success in the future.
Loves me not
Last week our Y12 students participated in the Loves Me Not course which aims to educate young people about healthy relationships. This work is supported by the police and is in response to the Sophie Elliot tragedy. Thanks to Mrs Bloxham for her organisation of this event.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the swim sports on Monday but I understand that it was a very successful event. It is pleasing to hear the positive participation by students and in particular the Year 9 group. I am also pleased to report that the staff rose to the student council challenge and soundly beat the students! We obviously have some very talented swimming staff.
Further industrial action
I have this morning been informed that there is going to be further industrial action, this time in the form of rostering home. At the present time this will be:
In the week prior we will send a letter home to the appropriate year level students. Ideally there will be a negotiated resolution and all of these actions will not be necessary.
I hope that you are all able to enjoy the long weekend and make the most of the extra day off. I believe that the weather may limit some of the activities so wrap up warm and have a good book to read!
Have a good weekend
Ka kite ano
Mr Mike Wright