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Schools break rules to keep principals

Schools break rules to keep principals

The Auditor-General's report into the remuneration of school principals shows that boards and principals are determined to make their own decisions and will go around the Government's rules to do it, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

The report, Payments for Additional Remuneration to School Principals, was published yesterday and shows that in 2002 more than 10% of schools made unauthorized payments to principals outside the central payroll system.

The report also shows that the Ministry of Education has been inconsistent in its enforcement of funding rules and has 'taken a long time to initiate its investigation'

Mr English says: "The system is awash with too many rules and regulations about all aspects of how our schools are run. Clearly even the Ministry is finding it too difficult to enforce these rules.

"We need fewer rules but better enforcement.

"The rigid central payroll system doesn't account for the extra time and responsibilities carried by some principals.

"In some cases, if principals aren't recognised for these extra duties, they won't stay around for long.

"Schools want flexibility and are prepared to break the rules to get it. The Minister should consider what has caused this before he cracks down with even more heavy-handed regulations," says Mr English.

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