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Schools revolt - Labour bureaucrats on notice

Anne Tolley MP
National Party Education Spokeswoman

11 June 2008

Schools revolt - Labour bureaucrats on notice

Anger at ever-increasing pressures to fund new initiatives, compliance costs, and administrative burdens on schools by the Labour Government is mounting, and National’s Education spokeswoman, Anne Tolley, says she has huge sympathy for the schools.

The principals of more than 15 schools have now joined a boycott of Labour’s Schools Plus initiative, saying they are already under unbearable financial pressure to fulfil government expectations.

“Labour has filled its Ministry with bureaucrats who have spent almost nine years finding ways to make the lives of school principals more difficult and more costly.

“What possessed someone in the Ministry to insist on having every electrical appliance in a school tested annually at a cost of $8,000?

“How does Education Minister Chris Carter expect principals to fund new Maori and Pasifika initiatives, the technology, health and languages components of the new curriculum, and guidance, health, and pastoral care all without additional funding?

“Schools want to focus on the basics of reading, writing, and maths. Teachers want quality time in the classroom.

“Instead, they have 3,000 extra Ministry bureaucrats beavering away finding new ways to make principals’ lives more complicated.

“In the past six years they have had the added administrative burdens of NCEA, Student Management System, Enrol, property W.O.F checking, teacher registration documentation, new regulations in EOTC, the International Students Code of practice, and STAR – and that’s just the short list.

“The chairman of an Auckland secondary school says; I am sick and tired of hearing the Minister keep repeating that Labour has committed an extra $5 billion since 1999 for education. That may be true but the vast majority of the funds have not gone to the students or schools but to bureaucrats and infrastructure’.

“For nine years, Labour has ignored the calls for a stop to red tape and a return to core values, to its peril.

“Its bureaucratic bantams are coming home to roost.”

ENDS

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