By 3 News online staff
The stress of the Government’s Canterbury schools shake up is becoming apparent in the behaviour of students, according to one principal.
The Ministry of Education announced proposals in September to close 13 Christchurch schools and merge a further 26.
Since then, Branston Intermediate Principal Jennifer O’Leary says her student’s behaviour has deteriorated significantly.
Ms O’Leary told The Press this morning the school has had to take on extra lunchtime supervision, due to increasing levels of schoolyard violence.
She says that behaviour was now worse than it was during the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, and she was considering hiring a support worker to help with the increasing workload the stress was placing on staff.
Labour leader David Shearer, who has criticised the shake-up, blamed the Government for the extra stress it was placing on school children.
“We underestimate the importance of friends and routine to children. That is why it is wrong to test this experiment on Christchurch at this time,” he told The Press.
“Children are going to be the losers in this."