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Time to audit state school buildings

Media Release
20 June 2008

Time to audit state school buildings

While the Ministry considers coming to the aid of Catholic schools with run down buildings PPTA president Robin Duff feels it should look in its own back yard.

State integrated Catholic schools are appealing to the Government for funding to maintain their buildings and land. Being integrated means they get the same amount of funding as schools in the state system, with the exception of money to maintain the buildings and land they own.

Mr Duff believes if Education Minister Chris Carter is looking at helping integrated schools repair privately owned buildings then he should also consider the state of the schools owned by the Ministry.

“We think now is a perfect time for an audit of the state school buildings that the Ministry is responsible for.
“Mr Carter will be well aware of the Ministry report that the Nelson Blocks at schools had reached the end of their useful lives. Yet most schools still have Nelson Blocks in a state of complete disrepair.

“While we commend the Ministry’s apparent generosity in terms of the integrated schools, we would like to see it extended to its own dilapidated school buildings.

“What we would like to see is the strategy for upgrading all secondary schools and a plan to sequence what will be a very significant cost to the taxpayer.
At the moment, we have a situation where new schools are provided with state of the art buildings and facilities while existing schools are pretty much left to languish,” he said.

Mr Duff said while it was disappointing there appeared to be no more money to increase school operations grants, he hoped the Ministry’s negotiations with integrated schools would be a sign of things to come for state school buildings.

ENDS

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