The Ministry of Education has assured schools they will
continue to receive all publications and access to online
resources following the closure of a major New Zealand
education publishing company.
The board of Learning Media has agreed with the Government
the company does not have a viable ongoing business, and will
be wound down through a managed process.
Learning Media chairwoman Jenn Bestwick said projects under
way would be delivered as scheduled and transition
arrangements would be put in place for longer-term work
programmes to ensure continuity.
The significant contribution Learning Media had made to New
Zealand's education sector over many years was recognised by
both the Government and Ministry of Education.
''A key priority as the company winds down is ensuring the
valuable skills and capability of Learning Media's staff are
able to be retained within the sector.''
Ms Bestwick said declining revenues in traditional publishing
had undermined the company's profitability, and despite
strategies to diversify into digital publishing and to
develop products for other sectors and markets, the company
could not maintain a viable business.
Learning Media was created in 1939 when the
Department of Education's school publications branch was
It became a Crown company in 1993 and a state-owned
enterprise in 2005.
The company created digital and print educational resources
such as the School Journal and Te Wharekura and
also provided professional development for teachers.
The company employs 109 staff, including editors, designers,
project managers and software programmers.
Deputy secretary for education Andrew Hampton said the
ministry is contacting schools to reassure them they will get
all the curriculum resources they are expecting.
''We will be working with other providers and putting in
place plans that mean schools won't be impacted by what is
happening with Learning Media.
''Work will be transitioned so the School Journal and
all the other publications schools are expecting will
continue to arrive as scheduled and into the future.''
Mr Hampton said the ministry was working to identify
opportunities which would help keep the critical expertise of
Learning Media's staff in the education sector.
''In particular, we want to make sure Maori medium capability
remains available, along with expertise in Pasifika culture