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Paperwork consultant for school wasteful and silly

Katherine Rich MP
National Party Education Spokeswoman

27 January 2008

Paperwork consultant for school wasteful and silly

The Education Ministry's insistence that a small school hire a consultant to help with filling in forms to carpet a staffroom is bureaucracy gone mad and a waste of money, says National's Education spokeswoman, Katherine Rich.

"There is something wrong when the Ministry thinks a group of Kiwi parents on a school board can't be trusted to get a staffroom carpeted.

"The $500 the Ministry expected the school to drain from its operations grant to waste on a consultant to do nothing but tick a box, would be better spent on teaching and learning.

"This school is run by a principal who has run four rural schools. The school board even has a builder who has overseen larger projects than this one - which was the carpeting of a small room.

"This might seem a small example, but it's indicative of the overly-bureaucratic and frustrating way the Ministry oversees small projects under $10,000.

"The Ministry's low-trust approach to the management of school property is a major bugbear for schools. Even when doing the tiniest property job, schools have to fill out a 10-page form.

"There needs to be greater trust - not to mention plain common sense - so that boards and principals can make everyday decisions without the Ministry being involved in every single aspect.

"Schools see the logic in getting expert help on big projects beyond the scope of a board's expertise - but not carpeting a room. That's just silly."


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