6 Nov 2017

Govt funding inadequate, principals say

12:42 pm on 6 November 2017

Only eight percent of primary and intermediate school principals say their operational funding is sufficient and two-thirds say their staffing allocation is inadequate, a national survey has found.

Two-hundred principals and 771 teachers at 228 schools responded to the Council for Educational Research survey in 2016.

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The survey found 48 percent of principals reduced their schools' spending last year in areas including support staff, curriculum, and co-curricular activities such as sport and school camps.

Two-thirds of the principals said they were using operational or locally-raised funding to pay for extra teachers. Most were employed to teach regular classes, but others provided literacy and numeracy support or support for children with special needs.

Two-thirds of the principals said their school had room for all the children who wanted to enrol, 26 percent said they were over-subscribed and 7 percent said they could not take more children during the year.

Fifty-nine percent of the principals said student mobility and transience caused problems for their school.

Forty-one percent of the principals reported "general difficulty" finding suitable teachers for their vacancies, up from 18 percent at the previous survey in 2013 and from 20 percent in 2010.

Forty-four percent of the teachers who responded to the survey thought they were better at meeting the needs of children with special needs, and 36 percent said they were better at teaching Maori students.

Sixty-nine percent of teachers reported good morale, slightly up from the previous survey in 2013.