Agency asks Oslo schools to disregard the teacher norm
– Compliance with the teacher norm is not overriding the general economic framework, writes the Education Agency in Oslo to schools that struggle with debts that they have previously accumulated.
Schools in the capital were secured over 600 additional teacher positions as a result of the teacher’s norm that was introduced in connection with last year’s budget settlement between the Government parties and the Christian Democrats (KrF).
Some of the schools have accumulated budget deficits, which they have to deal with, and have therefore approached the Education Agency with questions regarding what to prioritise – repaying deficits or hiring more teachers, writes Aftenposten.
CFO in the Education Agency, Thomas Bang, answers the affected Oslo schools that they must take into account the incurred deficits when compliance with the teacher’s norm is assessed, according to emails that the newspaper has gained access to.
– This can be achieved, for example, by postponing the hiring of teachers until the economy allows for it. Compliance with the teacher norm cannot override the financial framework, writes Bang.
According to the CFO, this implies a «moderate delay» in fulfilling the statutory Teacher norm. The agency doesn’t keep an overview of how many schools that are affected.
The Educational Federation has requested answers from the political leaders in Oslo whether the opinion of the Education Agency is in line with what the city council actually wants. The answer from the School Counsellor, Marte Thorkildsen’s (Socialists), office is according to Aftenposten, clear:
– The money from the Norwegian state for the Teacher norm are earmarked and must be used on hiring. This the School Counsellor’s office has stressed to the Education Agency.
Aftenposten has been in contact with Counsellor Thorkildsen, who does not wish to comment further on the matter. The Education Federation says they are pleased with the response from Thorkildsen’s department.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today