Maximum average class size 23 or 'MACS 23'
PPTA Te Wehengarua alongside the principal organisations (NZSPC and SPANZ) is concerned secondary schools do not have equal opportunity to choose to keep their class sizes at below 26.
Maximum average class size 23 or 'MACS 23' is a formula component for generating a required staffing level. It does not limit class size to 23, but provides enough staffing to allow that average - keeping most classes at 26 or below - without using school-funded staffing.
It is about adjusting the level of staffing given to a school, not about its use in the school.
The MACS would operate when the total curriculum staffing entitlement currently generated for a secondary year level (9 to 13), adjusted for the non-contact component, produces an average ratio of student:teacher contact hours of more than 23.
When that ratio is exceeded, enough additional staffing would be added to the year level curriculum staffing entitlement to reduce the ratio to 23.
A MACS in the Staffing Order formula would not limit class size to 23. Class sizes could still be expected to range in size around that notional average. However, setting a maximum curriculum entitlement contact hour ratio of 23:1 would generate enough new staffing for larger schools and junior high schools to be able to choose not to operate classes of 30 or more and to keep most classes at 26 or below without using school-funded staffing. It would allow almost all teachers, even in very large schools, to have average class sizes at or below 26.
The changes would cost $67M on full implementation, but this could be phased in over five or six years
The cost can be compared with the approximately $60M being spent on extra staffing now by schools to keep their class sizes down, but it would be resourcing applied equitably and would not depend on the capacity of individual schools to raise additional funds.