Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Government Scores Poorly On School Funding

May 21st, 2008

Government Scores Poorly On School Funding

The education union NZEI says the government’s just-announced education spending is disappointing because it does not address issues of low pay for thousands of essential support staff in schools. Schools will continue to have to juggle serious funding shortfalls, it says.

In a pre-Budget statement this morning, the Minister of Education announced that the schools’ Operations Grant will increase by 5% a year over the next four years, totaling $170 million. Included in this is $65.3 million to help schools meet the costs of Information Communication Technology.

NZEI earlier called for a meaningful Operations Grant increase of at least 10%, saying that’s the amount of extra funding schools need to meet their running costs and the increasing demands of providing quality public education.

It says once inflation is taken into account and the percentage of the extra ICT funding is removed, a 5% funding boost will hardly touch the sides. NZEI President Frances Nelson says “what we’ve actually been given is about the rate of inflation. The money for ICT is not ring-fenced so there is no guarantee that schools will actually spend it on what it is intended for if their operational funding is inadequate. It doesn’t make sense.”

The largest disappointment is that there is nothing in this Budget for school support staff whose salaries are bulk funded through the Operations Grant. As a result they are low paid and have little job security as schools have to juggle their salaries with other essential costs.

NZEI was hoping to see tagged funding in the Operations Grant for support staff salaries and a commitment to centrally fund some core support staff positions in schools. It has taken part, along with other sector groups, in an Operations Grant review, in the hope of making positive change.

Frances Nelson says “we’re totally frustrated by taking part in working groups and being ignored. The recommendations which came out of that review from the majority of sector groups have not been taken on board.”

“Schools and support staff are left in the same situation they were in before this announcement. Schools will just pay what they can of their ever-rising costs, and support staff will continue to be the ones to miss out,” she says.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

IHC Tribute: Colin Meads

"While Colin is best known for rugby, to us he is one of a small number of distinguished IHC New Zealand Life Members recognised for their significant support for people with intellectual disabilities," says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Tilting at Turbines - The Trip to Spain

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have now both broken the Big Fifty barrier, which seems to have brought a whole new level of angst to their midlife adventures ... More>>

Review: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has accepted the challenge of this heart-touching tragedy and largely succeeded. More>>


NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>

Kid Lit: Lost Mansfield Story Discovered At Wellington Library

Previously undiscovered letters and a story written by a young Katherine Mansfield were recently unearthed in Wellington City Library’s archives by a local author researching a book about the famous writer. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland