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Who's More Important - Teachers Or Bureaucrats?

Who's More Important - Teachers Or Bureaucrats?

New Zealand teachers struggling with the NCEA might be surprised to learn that the average salary of NZQA staff, charged with implementing Education Minister Trevor Mallard's "triumph" on schools, is almost $60,000, ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

In comparison, the average salary of primary and secondary teachers is $53, 579 and $57,121 respectively.

"The greater problem with teachers' remuneration, however, is that schools don't have the ability to pay good teachers more money to keep them in the classroom, and stop them being attracted to independent school's offering higher salaries and better working conditions," Miss Coddington said.

"Auckland's Senior College of New Zealand, for example, was the country's first school to offer every teacher their own office. This contributed to the situation whereby the school was able to recruit some of New Zealand's best teachers.

"There are many great teachers in our schools. Parents with children at school are far more concerned about good teachers being well paid, than having their taxes spent on Mr Mallard's bureaucratic empire.

"In an answer to my Parliamentary written question, Mr Mallard confirmed there are 3,624 employees in the Ministry of Education, New Zealand Teachers Council, Career Services and NZQA. This doesn't include the bureaucrats involved in the tertiary education sector.

"ACT believes a bigger slice of the education budget should be directed at schools, not on bureaucracies. Under Labour, the education bureaucracy has swelled while, at the same time, our children's education standards have dropped.

"It is time to rethink the way we spend taxpayers' money on education. We should let the funding follow the child. Even more importantly, we must let parents choose," Miss Coddington said.

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