The Nats have created the (spurious) data for school “league tables” that the media have obligingly trumpeted – all so that parents can be fully informed and make choices, so they tell us. But it seems that parents don’t deserve to be fully informed about the physical health of schools at all:
List of shoddy schools kept secret
A list of the country’s most leaky and mouldy schools is being kept secret by the Government because it doesn’t want Crown ministers pressured to make decisions.
Ladies and gentlemen, your “government” in a nutshell.
About 30 schools were identified as needing major redevelopments in 2013, the Government assigning $300 million for rebuilds and renovations. But this month, Finance Minister Bill English revealed the schooling network was “in worse shape than we thought” and there were probably more like 60 schools needing extensive redevelopment.
Common issues have included leaky buildings that are draughty, mouldy and damp. Some schools have problems with rats. Others have been air tested and have closed classrooms because of high spore counts, which can be hazardous.
Fantastic. The same mould problems that are making too may of our state houses unsafe are also present in schools.
The Herald asked the Ministry of Education for a list of those schools needing major redevelopment. It was given the names of just 16 schools – those already publicly approved. The rest of the list was declined … under section 9(2)(i) of the Official Information Act “so as not to prejudice the decisions of minister and/or Cabinet decision-making process”.
Parents deserve to be served up dodgy academic data in the name of openness and accountability, but not data on the actual health of schools. Because that would be just too inconvenient.