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First School In Five Year Property Programme

Glen Taylor School in Glendowie has become the first school to formally sign up to the Government's new five-year-property programme.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard visited the school today to sign an agreement with the school assuring it of $374,000 of capital works funding from Government over the next five years.

The event follows the Minister's announcement in April of the new system aimed at giving schools the certainty they lacked to get on with the job of self managing their property and meeting the expectations of their communities.

Sixty schools were chosen for this year’s programme with a roll-out to all schools by 2005. Until then other schools can continue to access the regular, annual funding programmes but on the basis of the same funding levels.

“Schools already have certainty about the day-to-day maintenance funding, that they receive in their general operating grants from Government. Yet despite being trustees of one of the largest property portfolios in the country, they have not previously know from one year to the next what capital projects would be undertaken at their school. Consequently they made decisions that did not make sense, like painting a wall one year and demolishing it the next,” Trevor Mallard said.

"The new programme addresses those kind of problems.

"The process that Glen Taylor School has worked through over the last few months is indicative on how the 5-year property programme will work.

“The school has identified its top priority projects within the assured funding levels that are fair and equitable to all schools. In this case, Glen Taylor School is guaranteed $374,000 of government funding for modernisation type projects over the next five years. Spread over this period are planned classroom/toilet upgrades, roof replacements and upgrading of electrical and sewerage systems. $93,500 is available this year for the school’s top priority projects. This is in addition to the $104,000 worth of general maintenance Glen Taylor School is funded for during this period.

"I am confident that the 5-year property programme creates a good balance in catering for both the government's need to adequately upkeep its large school property portfolio, while recognising the value of individual schools decision making," Trevor Mallard said.

Trevor Mallard said that most of the other 59 schools involved in the first intake of the 5 –year property programme will sign agreements in the next two weeks. Another 450 schools will be announced in December to enter to the scheme.

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