Those readers who are of a similar vintage to us, and who grew up in the area served by WNTV1 (in the good old days of regional television) will remember the advertisements for LV Martin and Son. Founded by Leo Vincent Martin in the 1930's, the TV advertisements featured his son, Alan Martin. And they launched LV Martin and Son's signature line; "It's the putting right that counts".
There's no easy way to say this; the Government screwed up the rebalancing of class size ratios in last weeks Budget. That has caused a flurry of activity at the Beehive, and it saw Ministers in pretty surly mood in the House yesterday. And quite frankly, it's not good enough.
So Hekia Parata is now invoking the LV Martin Effect; the Beehive website reports:
Minister provides assurances to schools
Education Minister Hekia Parata says no school will lose more than two full-time teachers (FTTEs) as a result of the policy changes in Budget 2012.“As we've previously said, about 90% of schools will either gain, or have a net loss of less than one FTTE as a result of the combined effect of the ratio changes and projected roll growth,’’ Ms Parata says.“We have examined the effect on the other 10 per cent of schools, and some would be affected more than we would accept.“Schools will be given a guarantee that their staffing entitlement will not be reduced by more than two FTTEs over the next three years as a result of the policy changes.“It is also not the intention of the policy to undermine the specialist technology provision at Levels 7 and 8. The Ministry of Education, together with the sector working group to be established by the Ministry, will ensure that technology provision continues.“Either way no school will end up with more than two FTTEs fewer than they currently have, because of these policy changes.”Any additional cost from these changes will be met from a contingency set aside by the Ministry of Education to manage the transition to the new ratios, Ms Parata says.
A week is a long time in politics, as Ms Parata will doubtless be reflecting. She will now be judged not on the gains she achieved for education in Budget 2012 ($500m of additional spending) but by this stuff-up, and her response to it.
Ms Parata deserves some credit for acknowledging the stuff-up, and for providing reassurances to the schools which were led to believe the worst. But she now has to put the LV Martin Effect into action, and sort her cock-up out. We have lauded Ms Parata before, and hope that she will give us cause to acknowledge her again in the future. In the meantime however, she has some putting right to do.