School zone plan to end war for students
Exclusive Funding proposal aimed at ending flight of pupils from low deciles
High school teachers propose paying schools only for students living within their zones — a move that would axe funding for more than half of all current students at six Auckland secondary schools.
The proposal, in a paper prepared for debate at the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) annual conference starting on October 2, is aimed at ending destructive competition that has seen thousands of students flee from low-decile to highdecile schools over the past 30 years.
The paper proposes grouping schools in each region to encourage co-operation rather than competition.
“Funding schools for the number of students they enrol has encouraged schools to compete,” it says.
“[They try to] outperform competing schools through advertising, open nights, staff, courses and facilities.
“From the outside, this could seem like a good thing — keeping schools ‘on their toes’.
“In reality, it adds to the workload of staff, schools manipulate results to make themselves look better than they really are, and embark on building projects that make the school look modern or state-of-the art.”
The paper says zoning should be tightened so that most students attend their local schools. “It is time to change the funding arrangement for schools so that they are only funded for students in their catchment, or so all adhere to zoning rules,” it says.
The proposal feeds into a broad review of the competitive school system known as Tomorrow’s Schools.
A taskforce led by former Rosehill College principal Bali Haque is due to report on proposed changes by