Sunday, 23 June 2013

Loving private schools

Why does the government love private schools?

Is it because they perform so much better than public schools?

Or is it because a great number of the parents of private school pupils vote National?

Why do they dish out millions to decile ten private schools at the expense of struggling decile one schools?

Is it further proof of their love affair with the rich. This evidence was brought to light by a damming report on inequality regarding help at exam time for pupils suffering from learning difficulties.

The Ministry of Education has launched an investigation into inequities in a system used to determine which pupils with learning difficulties are eligible for special help sitting exams, in a move welcomed by the Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand.

A Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand report analysing the data shows decile-10 private schools were getting as much as five times more funding than their lower-decile counterparts, as applications for help skyrocketed last year.

Now to get help for pupils suffering from dyslexia with their NCEA exams you need to produce a psychological assessment that shows that the pupil would benefit with special help during exams, this could include, taking the exams by using others to record answers, or verbal only exams etc.

But there is a catch, you have to pay for the assessment and that can cost thousands, so parents of pupils at low decile schools for the most part don’t get onto the first step toward getting help via this tax payer subsidy.

Yet a private school like King’s College in Auckland whose charges fee that are well out of reach for most New Zealand parent’s, makes maximum use of the process and gets the vital assistance needed and gets its costs refunded via the government scheme. It fact King’s College is so effective as ripping off the scheme that twenty-five percent of all their pupils sitting NCEA exams used the service whilst sitting exams…this is a stunning percentage. It would imply that they have a huge number of pupils with learning difficulties. Or does it? Or is it that they can afford to manipulate a process simply because they have the money to do so.

The oddity is that at Otahuhu College right next door to King’s not one pupil received assistance…does this prove that Otahuhu College has no students with learning difficulties?

No, what it shows is that Otahuhu College is a decile 1 school while King’s College is a decile 10 school…and that says it all.

But hey what’s new, this government simply pours millions into private schools, even when their rolls are falling and there are heaps of spaces at local public schools nearby, as is the case of failing Collegiate College in Whanganui and Auckland Boys Grammar where the PM’s son goes…they each received millions after John Key had a cup of tea with the board. I only wish that he would have a cup of tea at the odd decile 1 school and leave them a cheque as he does with Sky City, Warner Brothers, John Banks and many others...


Gordon McShean said...

Peter, these figures are astounding! The matter needs to be taken up by people of standing, the figures verified, and a campaign for reform initiated. The moral and legal implications of what is happening need to be asserted, and the culpability of those who are responsible determined. I hope you'll be able to use your blog as a starting point! Gordon McShean

Wheeler's Corner NZ said...

I'll do my best Gordon...and thanks for your comments...