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School Performance Improving


MEDIA RELEASE 29 JUNE 1999

New Zealand Schools Nga Kura o Aotearoa 1998, tabled in Parliament today by Education Minister Nick Smith shows the Government is investing more than ever in New Zealand's young people through better qualified and more teaching staff, increased operations grants and better buildings.

"School rolls are growing but the investment by Government in teachers, buildings and operations funding has grown even more. Real per pupil funding for teachers has grown by 8%, and for operations by 17% since 1990. The Government investment in school land and buildings has grown by $1.56 billion, or from $4,770 per pupil in 1990 to $6,426 per pupil in 1998. This is reflected in better schools all over New Zealand."

School rolls have increased by 12,303 during 1998, the bulk of this growth being in the Auckland and Bay of Plenty regions. 741 new classrooms were built during 1998 and the new Gulf Harbour Primary School was opened in Auckland.

"The financial position of both primary and secondary schools has also improved during the year by $91.3 million. Current assets and investments of schools increased substantially to $494 million indicating that most schools are living within their budgets and are being financially well managed"

"The number of schools with operating deficits has increased from 27% in 1996 to 31% in 1997 although the proportion of schools with a persistent operating deficit has been steadily declining. The increase in the overall amount of working capital in schools suggests that it is not the adequacy of funding but rather the need to ensure operations funding is effectively targeted to schools. The Government will be reviewing how the operations grant is distributed this financial year."

"A positive trend is the increase in Maori teachers from 6% in 1990 to 8.3% in 1998. This number is expected to continue to rise as there is a larger proportion of Maori teacher trainees in the system. The proportion of students staying at school has also improved, with 86% of those aged 16 still at school and 62% of students remaining in school to age 17. This trend is encouraging as students realise the need to have a school qualification to enter the workforce."

New Zealand Schools Nga Kura o Aotearoa 1998 provides an overview of activities and achievements within the state schools sector during 1998.

"This report is an important tool in monitoring the educational and financial health of the schools sector and strengthens schools' accountability to the people of New Zealand."

ENDS


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