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Labour, PPTA agree to version of bulk-funding

Labour, PPTA agree to version of bulk-funding behind closed doors

National’s Education spokesman Bill English says a PPTA report shows the union believes schools already operate under a pseudo-bulk funding system.

The 2000 report ‘Bulk Funding: A Retrospective’ says that under the Labour Government ‘an individualised, bulk-funded solution… is to continue’. The report goes on to say that Trevor Mallard insisted the ‘flexibility’ that bulk funded schools had come to expect had to be retained in some form. The solution was to ‘allow schools to continue the practise of employing teachers from the operations grant...’

The report also says ‘Trevor Mallard, as Minister of Education, is already suggesting to schools that they use the ‘flexibility’ provided by the distribution of the bulk funding money to purchase teachers.’

Mr English says Labour and the PPTA did a deal behind closed doors to allow schools to keep some of the benefits of bulk funding, while both the Government and the PPTA continued to bag the system publicly.

“This back-door compromise favours schools in high-income areas that can recruit large numbers of foreign students and charge their students high fees.”

Since 2000, there has been a huge influx of non-government money into the system. Schools now raise around $500 million annually.

“The salaries of more than 2700 teachers are paid out of schools’ operations grants and locally raised funds. This is because schools believe the staffing profiles dictated by the Ministry of Education are inadequate for meeting the needs of students,” says Mr English.

“The PPTA has endorsed this version of bulk funding for five years now because it means more jobs for teachers, so it’s a bit rich to come out now and say it’s bad.

“Under Labour’s half-baked bulk funding system only some schools can afford to hire extra teachers. National believes all schools should be given the flexibility to meet the needs of their students.“


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