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Bulk Funding To Go Inspite Of It's Success

MEDIACOM-RELEASE-EDUCATION-FORUM

BULK FUNDING TO GO INSPITE OF IT’S SUCCESS

Auckland Grammar School Headmaster John Morris today told MPs that the abolition of bulk funding will please teacher unions, not benefit students. Mr Morris appeared as Acting Chairman of the Education Forum before the Education and Science Select Committee, which was in Auckland today hearing submissions on the Education Amendment Act.

Mr Morris pointed out that the Education Review Office last year reported that bulk funding of teacher salaries had "given boards of trustees opportunities to manage their resources more flexibly and to make decisions in a flexible environment. [Bulk funded] schools generally have applied the extra funding in diverse and innovative ways, for example to provide additional staff in order to introduce a wider range of programmes, for curriculum resources, or for property initiatives." (Education Review Office (1999) Good Practice in Managing the Fully Funded Option.)

"Despite vigorous campaigns from teacher unions, a third of all schools opted for bulk funding", said Mr Morris. "The government is ignoring the wishes of local communities by unilaterally cancelling their bulk funding contracts. The government is doing by legislation what teacher unions failed to achieve through industrial pressure.

"The government has not given an adequate explanation of why it is abolishing bulk funding. Nor has it explained how it will avoid the problems that bulk funding was introduced to avoid.

"Research shows that bulk funding has given schools more flexibility to meet the diverse educational needs of children, but the government seems determined to abolish bulk funding regardless of the consequences for students.

"It's a real pity that the Labour government hasn't learnt from its counterpart in Britain. In the last year the British Labour government introduced bulk funding, which they call 'devolved funding', for all schools."

Copies of the written submission of the Education Forum on the Education Amendment Act are available on request.

ENDS

MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE EDUCATION FORUM

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