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Students In Small Schools Benefit From Support

Students In Small Schools Benefit From Support Scheme

A successful scheme that enables small schools, mainly in isolated rural areas, to spend more time on teaching and less on administration, will be extended.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard said the School Administration Support Cluster (SASC) Programme helps small schools work together to improve their administrative efficiency, freeing up time to enable teaching principals to focus on professional leadership and teaching, and for boards to focus on governance.

“It’s been a great success and the government is increasing the funding for the next financial year from $1 million to $2.7 million. Schools can also apply for funding for two-year projects rather than limiting them to one-year projects as they are now. I expect this will result in more sustainable changes to the way small schools organise their administration,” Trevor Mallard said.

“So far the programme has delivered real benefits for the 600 schools that have taken part in the programme.

“Principals of small schools are usually teachers as well. It is often difficult for them to provide professional leadership for the school and also do most of the administrative work. Small schools have the same range of administrative tasks as larger schools, but without the same levels of assistance.

“The programme supports initiatives put forward by clusters of small schools, usually three to eight in each cluster. These initiatives help to reduce the principals’ and boards’ workload through, for example, common management systems for areas like property and ICT, shared school policies, bulk funding of materials and the appointment of cluster administration officers.

“The principals taking part have reported real benefits for their schools.”

The programme provides funding for initiatives put forward by schools, which have to contribute to the initiatives themselves. The maximum grant available in the current financial year has been the equivalent of $6,000 for each school involved.


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