I am writing this letter out of concern, regarding the future of the District Truancy Services in New Zealand.
The MoE has said in its correspondence that it is to merge the Non Enrolled Truancy Service (NETS) and the District Truancy Service (DTS) into one Integrated Attendance Service.Patiently we Truancy Officers have waited for the MoE to make its move, though none of us, the experts in the field, who also have recognition from the MoE of this, agree with what the MoE are doing. (The MoE seems NOT to be listening)
I have contact with MOST DTS’s in this country. All have said the same.‘If it’s NOT broken, why fix it! (who said it was broken?)
I have been a Truancy Officer in this Service (DTS) for 13 years. A dedicated Officer/Operator, a frontline worker who worked for the first 8 years as a part time (20hrs/wk) sole operator, propping the position up with ‘other’ part time work. This was no easy task. I then took over the second Truancy position 5 years ago (20hrs/wk) which put me in a fulltime position. I now employ two other Truancy Officers covering a huge geographical area within the Central North Island.
Over this time I have refined both the Services to where they are now.
I have also ‘introduced’ other ‘supportive services’ within my areas to help attend to the problem of Truancy. This service actually has teeth now. A design far cheaper than what the MoE had proposed (Re: prosecution) In fact the cost for this is NIL! (The MoE design will cost thousands of dollars).
I received a letter from you on 5th December saying you are now to; review the service design and composition before you proceed further with the tendering process’ (5/12/2011 letter) Another ‘Tendering Process’. How long will this take?
Our patience is running very thin already.
My concern is that the officers we employ may NOT be with us for long as we can only guarantee them work to the 5th July 2012. They may seek or be offered work elsewhere. Most have families and financial commitments.
I find all this interesting as the MoE guaranteed RTLB’s a position in their recent change, a similar situation, but NOT DTS’s. Yet the MoE say they appreciate the DTSs and the work they do . Its no wonder that many don’t believe what the MoE are saying. I was always taught that the 'proof was in the pudding'.
To me it is a senseless move to disband and loose a successful operation and its people. These people are NOT trained overnight and have a world of experience within their allotted communities.
Any changes of direction to the service need to be communicated very quickly as to NOT loose these people.
You have in the new contract/agreement asked for an ‘Environmental Scan’.
I have had this contract/agreement checked by a Lawyer and he is in agreement with me that this part of the document is totally ‘unethical’. Other DTS’s also agree with this. As I have communicated before, if you were to contract Telecom to do your communications then after 18 years through suggested change asked for an environmental scan (how and who they operate with) as you are asking the DTS’s, they would laugh at the suggestion and give you nothing. Especially with NO guarantee of continuance.
The operations manuals of any organization in this country are the property of the organization/contractee NOT the contractor and are protected by confidentiality and copyright. (you still have mine)
The MoE in its introduction letter in the new contracts have made it very clear that they are NOT the employer of the DTS. I guess this protects them from any backlash from DTS employee's.
If you want the expertise of the DTS's you need to keep them informed and employed.
Accurate time-framing is paramount. History shows that this is not so.
Any business that lets its experienced workers ‘go’ is most unwise and it will be detrimental to the future of the business. In this case detrimental to future nz'ers.
I have also suggested recently that the MoE brings together key DTS officers (Nation wide) as a group 3 or 4 times a year to discuss benchmarks, organizational process’ for ALL DTS’s throughout NZ. This would help with congruency and direction.
There is NO need to form another ‘goliath’ organization that will suck up the extra money allocated toward the DTS's by Government. Especially one that has little or no experience in DTS business. It’s just another waste of time and money and I wonder who is advising this?
The Truancy Services in NZ have always wanted ‘recognition’ 'congruency' and a ‘National Data Base’.
Imagine the excitement when ENROL was developed. BUT it was NEVER offered to Truancy Officers. I would be one of the few who got on board when this was introduced through our base school.
ENROL could be modified to include a ‘database’ for the Truancy Services. No need to develop ANOTHER system.
Our area developed an excellent computerized Data Base which works in with the MoE Milestone. This can be checked from my website www.truancynzctdts.com.
This system is used nationwide by many other DTS providers.
I would appreciated to get some kind of response from this communication.
I sent an email to our Prime Minister regarding this but as yet NO response. Maybe I will approach the opposition? This seems to be the norm unfortunately and these people are supposed to be ‘Public Servants’?
This email has also been cc'd to MP’s,DTS's, key schools and a copy will be on my website blog.
Please excuse my ‘passion’ I am a dedicated concerned Truancy Officer.
Stephan P DyerSenior Truancy Officer Central Taranaki DTS, South Taranaki DTS, BoT Member SHS, Counsellor Pvt Practice,NZEI Support Staff Rep SHS.