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Union Delegate guilty of misleading NZEI

28 September 2005

Australian Education Union Delegate guilty of misleading NZEI delegates by omission of key facts regarding school funding.

“In her recent speech to the NZEI Annual meeting the Australian Education Union representative Susan Hopgood misled the delegates by omitting some essential facts about school funding in Australia” said Joy Quigley, Executive Director of Independent Schools of New Zealand today.

“”It is misleading to ignore the contributions from both state and federal levels of Government when talking about funding of government and non government (private/independent) schools.

In Australia state governments own and take primary responsibility for funding all government schools. Whilst state governments provide a small amount of assistance to non government schools, the Federal Government has been the major provider of support for non government schools for more than 30 years irrespective of the political party governing Australia.

Parents provide almost 60% of the recurrent (operational) funding and 85% of the capital funding for independent schools. Governments, both state and federal combined, provide almost 100% of the funding for government schools.

Overall the average cost of educating a child at school is similar, irrespective of the owners of the schools.

The contribution of parents in the non government sector in Australia is a very significant factor in relieving governments of the full cost burden of schooling. Parents are considered to be partners with governments in education by paying more after-tax dollars for schooling.

The Australian Government, and a significant proportion of the Australian voters including parents and teachers, believe that diversity in the way schooling is provided is a healthy part of the Australian education landscape. Ms Hopgood should have also included these points in her speech to the NZEI delegates,” said Ms Quigley.

ENDS

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