Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


New housing policy threat to rural schools

New housing policy threat to rural schools

The Education Ministry’s new school housing policy is a kick in the guts for rural schools struggling to recruit and retain teachers, in some cases on top of school reviews, according to the PPTA.

PPTA senior vice-president Jen McCutcheon said though the association was pleased that non-core houses currently tenanted would be retained under the new policy, ultimately there would be fewer school houses and rents for those left would go up.

Under the new policy, a significant number of teachers will see their rents rise by up to $25 per week next year, and $25 per week each subsequent year until service tenancy rents – 75 per cent rentals – are reached.

“We’re pleased schools won’t be compelled to sell houses if they have teacher or principal tenants,” Mrs McCutcheon said. “However, this new policy still has the potential to further degrade rural education and hamper rural schools already struggling to recruit and retain teachers.

“Feedback from teachers and principals tells us that higher rents – though below market rental – act as a severe disincentive to teachers moving to rural and or isolated areas.”

Mrs McCutcheon said cheap housing encouraged teachers to teach in rural areas, to live in the community, help maintain it and prevent rural decline. It also enabled some teachers to teach in resort areas such as Queenstown which would otherwise be too expensive.

“The Ministry of Education – and the Minister – have a responsibility to ensure that schools in rural areas are not disadvantaged.

“The effect of the increased rents might be disguised in the short term but long term could lead to an increase in teacher shortages in rural areas and thus a lowering of educational opportunities for students in these areas.”

Mrs McCutcheon said PPTA was disappointed the Ministry was encouraging school boards to buy houses, effectively forcing boards to spend operations grant money to either maintain or sell them on.

“They are exporting the problem to boards who should be using operations funding on educating children, not maintenance and administration of school houses.”

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland