School zone plan to end war for stu­dents

Ex­clu­sive Fund­ing pro­posal aimed at end­ing flight of pupils from low deciles

The New Zealand Herald - - Front Page - Si­mon Collins ed­u­ca­tion

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

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