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Government announces new property plan for schools

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced details of a new system for working through schools' capital works needs.

He said the Government was introducing a five-year capital works programme for schools. The “5-Year Property Programme” gives schools the certainty they presently lack to get on with the job of self managing their property and meeting the expectations of their communities.

"The Government wants to give schools certainty about when their capital works projects will be carried out.

"What the 5 year property programme will mean is that a school will work with the Ministry of Education to decide their priorities for capital works within assured funding levels that are fair and equitable for all schools.

"The schools system amounts to one of the largest property portfolios in the country. The Government has a responsibility to keep it well maintained. We also have a responsibility to involve each school more in the type of upgrading needed in each case.

"Schools are already required to plan for property work over a ten-year timeframe. The 5 Year Property programme gives schools surety of funding for the first half of that plan that is lacking at present. What good is a plan if schools do not have the resources to do the job?

"The programme will be progressively rolled out to all schools by 2005 starting with sixty this year. These have been selected to give a mix of decile ranking, location, school type and size. Until the other schools enter the scheme regular property funding programmes will remain," Trevor Mallard said

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