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Schools Welcomes Increasing Choice In Education

Independent Schools Welcomes Increasing Choice In Education

Independent Schools of New Zealand (ISNZ), the umbrella group which represents 43 schools educating most of the children outside of the state and state-integrated system, welcomes the development of a new independent school in Whitby said Joy Quigley, ISNZ Executive Director.

"ISNZ is always supportive of increasing choice in education for parents and pupils and congratulates David Bradford and Whitby Coastal Estates on having the initiative to establish Resolution College, and appointing Murray Trenberth as foundation principal," said Joy Quigley. "This will fulfill the dream of many people in the local area who have called for a secondary school in Whitby for over twenty years."

"Parents are increasingly choosing to enrol their children in schools that best suit their educational needs and this has significantly increased interest in independent schools. Our schools have a proven record of providing children with an all-round education in a supportive environment that encourages excellence. The local school does not always suit every child in each family and as a result there has been a steady increase in both roll numbers and the number of independent schools."

"But there is now a very great need for the Government to be realistic and revisit its capped policy on state funding for independent schools given the excellent return the taxpayer gets from its investment in such schools," said Ms Quigley.

“The capped state grant of $40.179 million ($35.714 exclusive of GST) is continuing to decrease in value as a result of inflation and other costs plus the impact of the teachers’ salary settlement. The increasing numbers of students choosing to access independent schools means that each year the per capita amount of the grant to schools decreases and in 2003 it will go down again by over 6%."

"The state saves well over $100 million dollars by not having to educate more than 27,000 students in state and state-integrated schools. These children have taxpaying parents, who also pay over $25 million dollars in GST on fees. Therefore paying net $11 million annually to independent schools for an excellent standard of education benefiting both the country and 27,000 young New Zealanders is a real bargain for the Government," said Ms Quigley.

"The Government should be promoting more choice in education and recognise the huge contribution independent schools make by at least restoring the previous grant of 30 and 40 percent of the cost of educating a child in state and state-integrated primary and secondary schools," concluded Ms Quigley.

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