web analytics

Schools under pressure

Written By: - Date published: 2:38 pm, May 31st, 2015 - 12 comments
Categories: education, schools - Tags: , ,

Every budget National trumpets putting more money into health and education. But the amount doesn’t keep up with population growth and inflation, so it amounts to cuts in real terms. Cuts have consequences:

Secondary schools to slash spending

Financially strapped secondary schools are cutting back on classroom activities, dropping field trips, ditching science experiments and even removing courses after a crackdown on parent donation rules.

A New Zealand Secondary Principals’ Council survey into funding guidelines set by the Ministry of Education in 2013 has revealed:

• Nearly two-thirds of high schools report a reduction in school finances

• NCEA assessments have been affected

• Students now go on “in-school” field trips

• Pupils are not as “engaged” in scaled-back activities and

• Some principals have “chosen” to ignore funding guidelines.

In one case a secondary school had to abandon an NCEA Level 2 biology field trip to the beach because it could not afford to hire a bus. The science teacher had to apply to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to alter the data collection assessment so the students would not fail. Another school was forced to alter its science curriculum by reducing experiments to trim costs. One school said it had done away with activities outside the school gates, including a sea kayaking standard for year 12 physical education students. Principals reported outdoor education programmes, food, hospitality and technology courses could be affected by the funding guidelines.

The article focuses on limitations on school donations as the trigger, but that’s just a smokescreen for the underlying issue – schools are not adequately funded for the job we ask them to do. Not that that bothers folk who send their kids to private schools I guess.

Update: Coincidentally – today’s Doonesbury…

12 comments on “Schools under pressure ”

  1. coaster 1

    its not the donations that are the issue, its the courses that have cost component that parents dont legally have to pay for, in particular with the rules clarifications over the last 2 years.

    hard materials tech requires components ( wood for a chair construction), if the pardnts choose not to take the finished product home they do mot have to pay for the materials, the school does (even though this isnt funded for).

    in food tech, a compulsary component is the base ingrediants when doing pratical assesments, if parents choose not to contribute to the cost of these they dont have to, but the school doesnt receive funding for this very expensive course components.

    with compulsary field trips, mainly ones required as part of the curriculum, the school can request voluntary contribution, but cant exclude students who dont pay.

    it has become a mindfield to navigate what you can and cant charge for, some schools charge for internet usage or printing just to cover some costs.

    i have been told that the ministry only fund maintenance cost on teaching areas in schools, so maintenance of hallways, toilets, offices storage areas have to come out of the bulk grant, im not sure how true this is though.

  2. esoteric pineapples 2

    I’m always amazed at how many schools have trips to the Cook Islands and even Europe these days. These are supposed to be educational trips. Rarotonga is essentially a tourist resort you can pushbike around in about an hour.

    • In Vino 2.1

      Nice sarcasm. But for those who miss it, I must point out that students and their parents fund such trips, not the schools. Our schools, sad to say, are not flooded with money to splash around in such a way. And teachers do unpaid extra-curricular work in arranging everything, especially the fund-raising.

      Be fair. Living in Rarotonga for a while may be worth more than a pushbike ride.

      Sad to see how few can be bothered to comment…

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        For a lot of stories like this, there isn’t all that much to say other than to agree with the post.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2

        One reason few are commenting is that the material contained in the OP is common ground. How many times can you say “the stupidity, it burns!” in response to National Party ‘education’ ‘policy’, before fatigue sets in?

        Right wing gibberish delivers degraded education: everyone knows that. What’s to discuss?

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    Imprudentiae, et ultra 🙁

  4. coaster 4

    theres lots to discuss, its just so big.

    trips overseas seem to be the domain of rivate schools.

    huge numbers of kids have learning disabilitys that are undiagnosed (officially) because there parents cant afford the cost for an assessment, thus the schools receive no funding for extra ta hours, even though the schools know thd kids have problems.

    many kids in parts of nz have no access to dental care (free or otherwise) due to a lack of dental nurses, and the dentists in those areas wont see the kids for a checkup due to bureacracy (this is hppening to my kids).

    schools are now becoming the defacto first point social agency for all sorts of things that none of there staff are trained for. often if they do have a guidance counsellor they are not funded fulltime so schools have to fund shortfalls out of operational grants.

    there are so many things that are underfunded in schools now it has gone beyond a joke, and still the schools do bloody well in the goal of giving the students the best oportunities they can to do well later on in life.

    oh, and of course there is still novopay which is still a bloody mess.

  5. millsy 5

    I wonder how much of this was due to the Picot reforms……

    Before October 1989 schools would have had support from various bodies such as the old Education Department, Education Boards, etc and so on.

    Tomorrow’s schools whipped that all away in favour of a block grant and a competitve market for all these things. Even things that were supposed to replace the old guard, such as education forums, education service centres, and a parental advisory service never got off the ground.

    • The Fairy Godmother 5.1

      Yes millsy I think the rot set in in 1989. I also think that the main problem is that it heralded an age of competition. The interesting thing is that Pasi Sahlberg the Finnish educator who came out recently stated that you can’t have both quality and choice in public education. The competition or choice that we have has certainly eroded the quality. Also the government can duck responsibility and pass the buck on to the schools and boards it has inadequately funded.

  6. Sable 6

    No kidding. The voluntary fees we pay each year are hideous….

  7. SMILIN 7

    This is a govt of excuses they cant see that under Labour things were working really well but to get into power they had to bring all these failed and dumped US education systems and the US prison systems to continue to get US foreign aid in some form or another
    Because of the so called financial crash in 2008 when u analize it was a bunch of greedy bastards who got what was coming to them
    We are being ruled by a govt by fear of” well if we dont comply we will get more of 2008 ” get real this a ridiculous attempt by this govt to be Gobbels like with its Crosby /Textor PR machine
    Key is a political fraud he has destroyed this country’s sovereignty which was already hanging by a thread when he came to power
    And because he is so undemocratic the office of the PM has be brought into disrepute greater than RD Muldoon or Syd Holland
    With FASCISTS you dont believe anything they say because they use your friends as well as your enemies to destroy the power of the majority in a democratic system which is the extreme position of this govt
    Funding Sky city, u name it theres so many socially destructive forms of spending of this govt and we have to listen to this Key prick, its sickening
    The latest lie falling fuel prices go from there, creation of new jobs bs at what 50,000 year to Ak immigration, Jez Wayne what a crock of shit Key you are trying to sell us.
    Education by this govt is manipulating a democratic responsibility in a socialist democracy, by capitalist tooling thru a govt, obviously biased to privatising the education system of this country so that honest work becomes a dirty word, or responsibility of the govt to actually give confidence to those in the system that the govt will have their future as a priority in govt policy.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Environment Court Judge appointed
    Prudence Steven QC, barrister of Christchurch has been appointed as an Environment Judge and District Court Judge to serve in Christchurch, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Steven has been a barrister sole since 2008, practising in resource management and local government / public law.    She was appointed a Queen’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government moves on climate promises
    The Government is delivering on its first tranche of election promises to take action on climate change with a raft of measures that will help meet New Zealand’s 2050 carbon neutral target, create new jobs and boost innovation. “This will be an ongoing area of action but we are moving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Jump starting research careers
    The Government is investing up to $10 million to support 30 of the country’s top early-career researchers to develop their research skills. “The pandemic has had widespread impacts across the science system, including the research workforce. After completing their PhD, researchers often travel overseas to gain experience but in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Project protects jobs and nature
    A Waitomo-based Jobs for Nature project will keep up to ten people employed in the village as the tourism sector recovers post Covid-19 Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “This $500,000 project will save ten local jobs by deploying workers from Discover Waitomo into nature-based jobs. They will be undertaking local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister Shaw speaks with U.S. Presidential Envoy John Kerry
    Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw spoke yesterday with President Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. “I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Mr. Kerry this morning about the urgency with which our governments must confront the climate emergency. I am grateful to him and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today announced three diplomatic appointments: Alana Hudson as Ambassador to Poland John Riley as Consul-General to Hong Kong Stephen Wong as Consul-General to Shanghai   Poland “New Zealand’s relationship with Poland is built on enduring personal, economic and historical connections. Poland is also an important ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major redevelopment of Wainuiomata High School underway
    Work begins today at Wainuiomata High School to ensure buildings and teaching spaces are fit for purpose, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Minister joined principal Janette Melrose and board chair Lynda Koia to kick off demolition for the project, which is worth close to $40 million, as the site ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New expert group appointed to advise Government on Oranga Tamariki
    A skilled and experienced group of people have been named as the newly established Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board by Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis today. The Board will provide independent advice and assurance to the Minister for Children across three key areas of Oranga Tamariki: relationships with families, whānau, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago