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Real performance of schools hidden from parents

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

4 October 2006

Real performance of individual schools hidden from parents

The New Zealand Schools Report might provide information about the schooling sector as a whole but the real performance of individual schools is still being hidden from parents, says National's Education spokesman Bill English.

"By the time the New Zealand Schools Report is published it’s largely out of date and its information is so general it does little to help parents assess the performance of their child's school,” says Mr English.

“Parents have the right to up-to-date information about their child's school – the sort of information that is available on the SchoolSMART website.

“Parents and communities should not only know how their local schools are performing academically but also how sound their financial performance is. The Schools Report highlights a number of problems in the schooling sector as a whole but the next step should be for parents and communities to consider the performance of their own schools.

The New Zealand Schools Report says:

- 55 statutory interventions were initiated during 2005, the most common reason being employment and/or management matters. 3.9% of all schools were subject to statutory intervention by the end of 2005.

- Only 51% of New Zealand's 2,500 schools had positive results across all four of the ministry's indicators of good financial management.

- 36% of all schools were in deficit in 2005.

- 13% of all secondary schools are unable to pay their debts.

"The impact of deficits and poor financial management affects a school’s ability to provide effective education to its students. It is the right of every parent to know this. Making SchoolSMART publicly available would promote participation and accountability,”says Mr English.

ENDS

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