Four Budget Wishes From School Trustees
The New Zealand School Trustees Association has four wishes it wants to see come true in tomorrow’s (Thursday’s) budget.
President Owen Edgerton says school trustees would like more direct government support for NZSTA’s services to boards, more realistic funding for information technology in schools, more training available for principals and aspiring principals and a topping up of schools’ operations grants.
“There is a desperate need for a government-funded NZSTA board support service to provide a fence at the top of the cliff for struggling boards. This would fill a current vacuum and would help reduce the number of schools which end up needing large amounts of assistance and money to turn round serious problems.”
For example, he says, the value of NZSTA’s industrial service that provides assistance on employment matters is shown by the small number of schools that face serious employment issues. “There is no doubt that a parallel board support service would be just as successful and provide exceptional value for education dollars.”
On IT, Owen Edgerton says schools today cannot opt out of the world of computers, but it costs. “Boards are telling us that they need adequate funding for this increasingly important area of education.”
He says that the training of principals and aspiring principals must also be taken seriously.
“A good principal is crucial to running a good school and funding is needed to high quality management programme, similar to those available to managers in other sectors.”
Owen Edgerton says boards are doing sterling work for the government and their communities – “and let’s make sure they get the help they need.”
Adequacy of funding is always an issue for boards of trustees and there is a high expectation that they will be addressed in the budget.