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Wentworth College Joins Independent Schools of NZ

15 April 2004

Wentworth College Joins Independent Schools of NZ

"Independent Schools of New Zealand are delighted to welcome Wentworth College as the 44th member of the organisation that represents the majority of students in independent schools in New Zealand," said Peter Ferguson, Chairperson of ISNZ today.

A secular, co-educational school, Wentworth College opened in 2003 and has developed quickly with 105 students enrolling in 2004. It has created an excellent learning environment and employs 13 well qualified teaching staff covering a wide range of specialist skills. It is sited on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, a rapidly developing area north of Auckland and has facilities for 350 students in the short term, maximum of 750 when Stage 2 of the building project is completed.

Founding Principal Bruce Tong says " The school's philosophy is to provide each child with an holistic education, with the focus on academic rigour balanced by an emphasis on drama, cultural activities and sport, all underpinned with a strong values system".

They have recently received an excellent Education Review Office report.

"Wentworth College is another example of parents exercising choice in education to ensure that their child receives the education that best suits them," said Mr Ferguson. "Rolls in independent schools are growing faster than in either the state or state integrated sectors, despite the continually increasing costs associated with accessing such an education."

Mr Ferguson said that the cap limiting the state grant to independent schools since 2000 results each year in a reduction to the per student amount received by Independent Schools. As parents who choose to send their children to an Independent School pay taxes that support the education of all New Zealand children, their children should share in the benefit of those taxes on an equitable basis.

He called upon Education Minister Trevor Mallard to implement the conclusions of the 2003, NZIER report, Funding Arrangements for Independent Schools in New Zealand which had supported the provision of increased government funding to Independent Schools on the basis that more parents sending their children to Independent Schools would result in a reduction in the overall Government spend on education.


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