Government urged to turn a new leaf in 2008
Government urged to turn a new leaf in 2008 – NZSTA
The Government is being told to stop relying on communities to dig into their pockets to the tune of an estimated $500 million a year to keep New Zealand’s schools afloat.
NZSTA General Manager, Ray Newport says it’s time the Government showed a greater commitment to support some 2,550 boards of trustees, instead of relying on the continual goodwill of the community.
“It is unrealistic for any Government to continually expect the school community to raise upwards of $500 million each year in locally raised funds to “subsidise” the day to day running of NZ schools, at a time when expectation around student achievement is continually increasing.
“We are hoping the Government will acknowledge the very real issues facing schools and ensure that better support for boards and schools is a priority for 2008.”
Ray Newport says New Zealand has enjoyed self governance/management of its schools for 18 years now, and the vast majority of the boards, together with principals and teaching staff, have done a great job.
“Our best students are achieving amongst the best in the world, and with positive signs that improved achievement is also occurring amongst those students who have historically underachieved”
However he says that progress has been achieved with relatively little support for boards from the Government in the critical areas of training, specialist support in human resources areas, and in the funding of boards operational grants.
“NZSTA has been sending a clear message now for some five years that the current level of operational funding is increasingly inadequate. We have also reported to the Government on the funding shortage surrounding ICT in schools and non teaching staff.
“If we want a world class education that properly prepares our students for the 21st century, then the Government needs to step up to plate and properly address the support and funding needs of boards and schools so that they are well prepared, and supported, in their task of ensuring that all students, without exception, achieve to their potential”, he says.
Ray Newport says the issues of underfunding and support for boards of trustees will not go away, and NZSTA will continue to publicly highlight these concerns until progress is made.