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English tells schools: 'teachers don't count'

4 July 2005 Media Statement

English tells schools: 'teachers don't count'

National, in attempting to spin itself out of its education lies, have revealed they don't think teachers are important to children's education says Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

Speaking at the New Zealand School Trustees Association's (NZSTA) annual conference in Auckland yesterday Trevor Mallard dismantled National's lie that that Budget 2005 delivered more funding to the Ministry of Education than to schools.

Trevor Mallard showed that in fact schools in the 2006 calendar year would receive extra funding of $65 million, or around six times the new funding that went to Ministry projects. This included $22 million in extra new operational funding to schools – operational funding making up just one fifth of the government's total spending on schools.

National's Education spokesman Bill English reacted by issuing a release saying that new spending on salaries for all the new teachers shouldn't count.

"Tell that to students, parents and teachers themselves," said Trevor Mallard. "Research shows quite clearly that regardless of a students background, quality teachers can and do make the biggest difference to student achievement.

"The Labour-led government is committed to having quality teachers in schools and early childhood education services to raise education standards for our children. We won't be apologising for that any time soon."

Trevor Mallard says National has tied itself in knots trying to spin lies about spending on schools. The government has reversed National's disastrous under-funding of schools. In 2005/06 schools will get $1.3 billion more than they did in 1999, or an increase in spending on schools of one third.

"National's maths just doesn't add up," said Trevor Mallard. "They don't think teachers are important, or teacher aides working with students with special education needs, or new computer equipment.

Trevor Mallard issued to all media today a complete breakdown of new spending delivered by Budget 2005 to schools, to back up his claims.

BUDGET 2005: Spending on the schools sector


New spending direct on schools (GST Excl) (GST Excl) (GST Excl)
Increased Teacher Numbers $91m $11m $22m
Increased Operational Funding $77.8m $11m $22m
School Property Funding Increase $29m $3.0m $6.0m
Special Ed Supplementary Learning Support $16.9m $2.3m $4.0m
Laptops for Teachers $14.2m $3.6m $3.6m
Extending High Standards Programme $11.7m -------- --------
Special Education Teacher Aides $9.9m $2.4m $2.7m
School Transport $7.8m $1.9m $1.9m
ICT Teacher Professional Development $7.5m $1.2m $2.3m
Industrial Advice for Boards of Trustees $1.2m $0.3m $0.3m

New spending on Ministry projects
Develop and Supply Schools e-Asttle Tool $7.4m $3.1m $3.1m
Best Evidence Synthesis $3.3m $0.8m $0.8m
Te Mana Programme $3.2m $0.8m $0.8m
Electronic Student Enrolment Management $4.9m $0.9m $0.9m
Te Kete Ipurangi $0.4m $0.4m $0.4m
Student Support System $1.0m $0.5m $0.5m
Effective Schools Monitoring $4.2m $1.1m $1.1m
Special Needs Assessment Tools $4.0m $0.6m $1.2m
Ministry Infrastructure $11.2m $1.7m $1.7m
TOTAL MINISTRY NEW SPEND $39.6m $9.9m $10.5m

Ratio - New school spend : Ministry spend 6.7:1 3.7:1 6.5:1

Description of new spending:

New spending direct on schools:

Increased teacher numbers:
The new funding for teachers is estimated to provide an extra 421 new teachers from 2006 for secondary and area schools. The initiative brings the total extra staffing provided since 2001 to about 3040 fulltime teacher equivalents, addition to the extra teachers required to meet roll growth.

Increased operational funding:
A $77.8 million increase to schools operational funding from 2006. The increase to operational funding comes on top of a $24.8 million a year increase provided to schools from 1 January 2005, as a result of a review of decile funding. Since 1999 this government has increased school funding by an average of $348 for every child. This equates to an increase of almost 15 per cent in real terms – that is, over and above the rate of inflation (or 39 per cent actual).

School Property:
A $29 million increase to the schools' five-year property programme.

Special Ed Supplementary Learning Support:
An increase of $16.9million goes to Supplementary Learning Support to increase the number of students eligible for this funding from 1000 to 1500. These are students with high levels of need but who do not qualify for ORRS funding. They will now be provided with additional specialist support and specialist teacher time.

Laptops for Teachers:
$14.2 million completes the provision of laptops to all permanent, fulltime teachers at state and state-integrated schools. More than 33,000 teachers are eligible to receive a laptop under this scheme.

Extending High Standards Programme:
Highly effective schools will receive $28.5 million over the next four years to encourage them to continue their high standards and share best practice across the sector. The government had previously signalled that $16.8 million would be available from 2006 for the programme. It has now lifted that by 70 per cent, with an additional $11.7 million in Budget 2005.

Special Education Teacher Aides:
$9.8million increase in funding for teacher aides. This will help ensure that schools can meet the special needs of students receiving support through ORRS or Ministry of Education Special Education behaviour services, by meeting a greater proportion of the actual cost of employing teacher aides.

School Transport:
An additional $7.8million to schools to who manage their own school bus arrangements. This amounts to about a 10 per cent increase in funding to ensure schools can continue to provide bus routes to students.

ICT Teacher Professional Development:
$8.2 million to increase the number of ICT professional development clusters from 80 to 100. This programme is the main way teachers get long-term ICT professional development.

Industrial Advice for Boards of Trustees:
Additional funding of $1.152 million over four years goes to the New Zealand Schools Trustees Association to provide independent industrial, personnel, trusteeship and governance advice to boards, principals and school staff.

New spending on Ministry projects:

Develop and supply schools e-Asttle:
$7.4 million for the development of e-asTTle, an online version of Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning. Students will be able to take assessments online, reducing the amount of marking for teachers.

Best evidence synthesis:
A total of $3.3 million over four years to strengthen the educational evidence-base used to inform policy and practice. The programme has received international recognition from the Centre for Educational research and Innovation at the OECD.

Te Mana Information Programme:
New funding of $3.2m over four years providing better information and support to Maori parents and Maori students to enhance expectations about educational achievement. Sharp increases in costs of television air-time across New Zealand has prompted the increase.

Electronic Student Enrolment Management:
This initiative provides $4.9 million of new funding over five years to provide a new electronic student enrolment management system to replace the current paper-based enrolment system in intermediate and secondary schools.

Te Kete Ipurangi:
$345,000 to upgrade Te Kete Ipurangi (, the Ministry of Education’s web portal for schools, which provides teachers with bilingual access to educational tools and curriculum materials.

Student support system:
This system will monitor both the short-term and long-term outcomes for students who are, or were, receiving student support intervention assistance.

Effective Schools:
New funding of $4.2million over four years to increase the Ministry's capability to support schools with their planning and reporting requirements and to assist schools at risk.

Special Needs assessment tools:
$4million to develop effective assessment for students with special education needs. This will provide teachers with more support in assessing the learning needs of children and young people with special education requirements.

Ministry Infrastructure:
$11.2 million over the next four years used to support Ministry of Education corporate infrastructure and development. The funding will be used to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of policies, advice and resources to the education sector. Specifically:
- replace motor vehicles
- provide base infrastructure to support service delivery
- meet staff accommodation, including bringing substandard accommodation up to standard


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