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Budget ‘07: Where is the Rest?

Budget ‘07: Where is the Rest?

- New Zealand Principals’ Federation -

The New Zealand Principals’ Federation has attacked today’s Budget announcements, saying the changes will do nowhere near enough to improve educational outcomes for students.

NZPF President Judy Hanna says a 4% increase in schools’ operating grants for 2008 is only a start to address the resourcing needs of schools. These resourcing needs were identified by the recent review of the operating grant.

“However, that 4% is nowhere near enough to meet the cost of administration staff that are needed immediately, and won’t address the huge technical support bill that is paid for now by schools,” says Mrs Hanna.

"The NZPF acknowledges the work currently being undertaken by the Ministry of Education, on support staff and ICT costs in schools. But this work is due to be finished by December. Where is the funding to implement the findings if they include further resourcing – will Principals have to wait even longer?”
The Budget also outlined funding to lower Year 1 class sizes to 1:18.

“We welcome the lowering of the class sizes, but why are they waiting until Term 2 to implement this? This is a logistical nightmare for principals, who appoint staff for their schools and set school organisational structures to support increased student outcomes before the start of Term 1. Holding this funding back until Term 2 will create massive logistical problems for us – what’s the point?”

“At the last election, schools were promised 1:15 staffing for Year 1 classes, and many people voted on this promise. We have been waiting and waiting for this promise to be implemented. Term 2, 2008 is at least a term too late.”
Mrs Hanna says the recommended implementations from the Staffing Review Group have been completely ignored in this budget. This means expected increased staffing to support leadership will not occur next year.

“For Principals, this is a ‘so what’ budget,” says Mrs Hanna. “It’s the same old story – they’ve given us a 4% increase in the operations grant, when what we really needed was increased support for schools in the area of administration and ICT costs. The halting of the increased staffing for middle leadership is at odds with the increasing realization world wide that leadership in schools is critical for student success.”


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