School reforms could cost $2 billion a year, principals warn

Episode of: The Mike Hosking Breakfast

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Apr 28, 20194m
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School reforms could cost $2 billion a year, principals warn
Apr 284m
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Proposed changes in the way schools are run could cost taxpayers up to an extra $2 billion a year, some principals say. The Waitākere Area Principals' Association says the high cost means that many of the ideas proposed by a taskforce led by former principal Bali Haque "are simply not going to fly". The taskforce has proposed re-creating 20 "hubs" to employ all principals and teachers so that they can be moved to where they are most needed, as a way of reducing destructive competition between schools. However, submissions opposing the plan show that making changes to the hubs around the country could cost billions. It is estimated to cost between $2 billion and $4 billion to put in place and then another $2 billion per year to run. Laingholm School principal, Martyn Weatherill, wrote the submission and told Mike Hosking there are issues with both the cost and the idea. "There are aspects of Bali's report that we really like, the disability learning support recommendation is good, the removing asperity between primary and secondary management staffing is good, improving equity funding is good, we like the way that he acknowledged that the education system is chronically underfunded, they are all good aspects of his report, the drawback is to address all of those requires money." Weatherill said for the "one size fits all" approach to education will never work. "We have got schools that are a handful of children, to primary schools in Auckland that are 1000 children, to assume that one size will fit all is simply wrong." However, he said, "this Government is more open to listening than the previous Government". "I would like to think there are aspects of this report that will see the light of day because the children of New Zealand need what this report is suggesting." However, there is a lack of agreement between principals which is causing concern for those in the education sector.

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