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A schools league table that we need

Written By: - Date published: 11:09 am, September 4th, 2015 - 15 comments
Categories: accountability, health, schools - Tags: , , ,

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.

15 comments on “A schools league table that we need ”

  1. Peter 1

    …… but money from asset sales is invested off-shore when we were told it would go into infrastructure such as NZ schools?

  2. aerobubble 2

    School tables are meaningless, since Nats hate teachers, they blame some of their teachers theygrew up with. The sad fact is that some teachers are just better at getting kids to learn but hold back others. Some even peddle religion and force kids to deconstruct their whole world view, while others fail and never reflect. The ability of a politician to hold deep conservative values while pushing the latest spin is i believe a hallmark of a failure to reflect on religion and its false world view.

    Take the gfc, it was widely recognized afterwards that financial tv commentators were peddle their own voodoo economic religion. Now we have wide condemnation for the range of choosen talking heads on our tv, people solely selected by their support for the govt and no doubt backed by the financial sector leveraging their immense wealth… …sorry debt wealth.

  3. Stephen 3

    Does nobody hold the National Government who created this mess to account? Wasn’t it Maurice Williason way back when?

    • keyman 3.1

      national deregulated the building industry in the early 90s its been a total disaster whole industry is a mess corrupt fragmented and years behind Europe and the us iam just waiting for next chapter of leaky building

  4. Henry Filth 4

    As an ex school trustee, my observation is that governments of both parties have been quite keen on “deferred maintenance” as a management tool for the education budget.

    It catches up with you, of course. .

  5. Macro 5

    It won’t be long before the next in the process – selling to private companies (preferably off shore) who will do the job much better for a lot less.

  6. Keith 6

    Here is the opportunity for National to live the dream! Get out of the education “business” where government doesn’t belong, sell the schools to investors and rent them back whilst getting Serco in to run them.

    Through dodgy accounting they will be exceptional schools and all kids can learn to fight!

  7. Tim 7

    The majority of these schools were built under the management of Trevor Mallard.

    An average teacher and incompetent minister.

    He blamed the building code. That code only applied to domestic housing.

    All school building designs were signed off by Ministry appointed engineers.
    Trevor is responsible

  8. save NZ 8

    It’s not about the safety of kids, it is about destroying the teacher’s union by attacking and artificially making teacher and schools ‘compete’ in rankings which like serco (the best prison in NZ apparently according to government tables) use a useless, worthless, cheating, arbitrary government table, that makes ‘paper’ more important than ‘kids’ and ‘teaching’.

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