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Schools Need Adequate Funding

16 September 2004

Schools Need Adequate Funding

"The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) applauds the School Trustees Association for its initiative in funding the NZCER research into school financial management," said Beryl Anderson, President of NCWNZ. "It shows that Government funding for education comes up short, and that the Government's solution for educating a child adequately and for keeping that child at school, is a costly exercise. It also provides irrefutable evidence that school operational grants are inadequate to the extent that schools depend on money raised from fees and fundraising."

"In research undertaken by Sandra Latimer in 2002, following a survey of voluntary school donations in 1999 by NCWNZ, it was confirmed that compliance with Ministry of Education policy was generally poor", Beryl Anderson continued. "Schools were having difficulty in providing all aspects of the curriculum without the extra money raised by schools through voluntary donations."

As with the NZCER research, concern was expressed about the provision of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and also highlighted problems over secondary school subjects that had high materials charges or subject fees.

While requiring schools to become more accountable for money collected from parents Sandra Latimer's research also recommended that 'The Ministry of Education needs to reaffirm its commitment to the principle of free compulsory education and the responsibility of the state to create and maintain an environment that is inclusive of all children, regardless of parental ability or willingness to pay'.

"Here we are two years later and the NZCER research is saying the same thing - 'the standard of education delivered in the school is dependent on the funds each school is able to raise from non-government sources," continued Beryl Anderson. "The only solution is for the Government to take immediate action to fund education well beyond the very modest increase which featured in the 2004 budget. It needs more than an inflation adjustment for schools to have an Operating Grant that is adequate," concluded NCWNZ President Beryl Anderson.

Background information

NCWNZ undertook a survey of voluntary school donations in 1999 and this lead to Sandra Latimer's thesis for the degree of Master of Public Policy at Massey University. The NZCER Research on School Financial Management confirms what Sandra Latimer found in her research User-Pays in New Zealand's Free Compulsory Education System, published in 2002. The Minister of Education was presented with a copy of this research in 2002.

ENDS

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