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Mallard supports bulk funding

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

25 July 2005

Mallard supports bulk funding

National Party Education spokesman Bill English says Labour and its friends at the teacher unions will be surprised and embarrassed by Trevor Mallard’s move towards the bulk funding of schools.

He is commenting on the release of the proposed terms of reference for a review of school funding which refer explicitly to Labour’s willingness to discuss trade-offs between teachers’ salaries and school operational costs.

Mr English says this idea is an abomination to teacher unions because, in practice, it amounts to bulk funding.

“There is no other way to describe the trade-off between teachers’ salaries and other costs. It’s bulk funding, pure and simple.

“The education unions will want Mr Mallard micro-chipped. Both the PPTA and the NZEI are running costly campaigns against National and now their Minister has undermined them by indicating that he actually agrees with National’s policy.

“It’s taken six years but finally Mr Mallard has opened his eyes to the fact that Labour’s ‘salaries first, students second’policy makes it hard for schools to do the best for their students,” says Mr English.

ENDS


Operational Funding Review: Proposed Terms of Reference

The review proposes examining operational funding provided to state and state integrated schools, with particular regard to:

(a) Establishing the principles and goals underpinning operational funding, including:

i) what the government expects to achieve through operational funding;
ii) what conditions we expect operational funding to adhere to (e.g. transparency, equity, flexibility, administrative efficiency);

(b) Collecting and analysing information to inform the review itself, as well as future policy decisions and school practices. The information will include:

i) real costs faced by schools; ii) core costs of schools’ business; iii) school discretionary spending; iv) levels of and practices around locally raised funds;
v) levels of and practices around school donations; vi) patterns of school expenditure, specifically: vii) patterns of ICT expenditure, specifically; viii) increases in centrally funded, centrally purchased and in-kind resourcing items over the past five years
ix) use of non-cash resourcing – e.g. banking staffing, management units, etc

(c) Analysis of best practice school financial management for producing the best teaching and learning outcomes, and assessing how to disseminate this information on this best practice to other schools.

(d) Analysis of the current use of resourcing mechanisms by the Ministry of Education, and of how those resourcing mechanisms can be made more effective for schools, and how they could be used to improve or incentivise teaching and learning outcomes. Resourcing mechanisms to be examined will include:

i) untagged cash funding; ii) contestable funding; iii) application funding;
iv) in-kind resourcing; v) central purchasing; vi) partial-payment central purchasing;
vii) trade offs between mechanisms (including staffing vs. operational funding).

Government have indicated that they do not intend to have the following matters covered by the review:

(a) the discretionary nature of annual adjustments to operational funding
(b) teacher workload or teacher staffing issues (though support staff costs are included)
(c) staffing entitlement
(d) Independent or private school funding

ENDS

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