Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie today provided an update on the integration of the English Language School Board into the department.
“We are building an education system that is focused on student excellence, and we believe our educators are the key to helping students reach their full potential. To more effectively support teaching in 21st century classrooms, we are renewing our approach to the administration of education,” said Minister Currie. “Moving from two levels of administration to one will reduce duplication and create efficiencies. More importantly, it will result in one strong departmental team supporting administrators, educators and students, leading to more effective use of education resources.”
A new learner-focused approach to education was announced in November 2015. It includes advisory groups to better engage Islanders in all aspects of learning, and an integrated department to implement the new direction for education now being developed by all partners.
The reorganization, and the removal of administrative duplication, will allow a decrease of 32 positions in administration. The number of front line positions – teachers, educational assistants, youth service workers – will not decrease.
“We recognize how important it is for everyone to know, as early as possible, the number of front line staff for the coming school year,” he said. “With the efficiencies achieved through a more effective and more focused department, government will be able to preserve the same number of classroom teachers, educational assistants, youth service workers and student services staff for the upcoming school year.”
A new Education Act will be introduced in the spring session of the legislature, outlining the new education structure. There will be a new Public Schools Branch within the Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture that will be responsible for the day to day operations of the school system, including the hiring of front-line educators and school staff, student transportation and student services.
The integration process is expected to be complete before the beginning of the September 2016 school year.