PPTA points the finger – 3 pointing back at them

State school costs hit hard at this time of the year. Every kid having a laptop at school is highly debatable in terms of its educational worth but Principals clearly think they need to keep up with the school down the road.

Fairfax and the Herald both carry articles this morning on school costs.

In the Fairfax article Angela Roberts of the PPTA throws the blame on the taxpayer (via the government):

Post Primary Teachers’ Association president Angela Roberts said costs for parents were rising as the Government “abdicated responsibility” for costs of learning essentials.

“There is a mismatch between what New Zealand really wants for their kids and what the Government will fund,” she said.

Charter Schools are a lot cheaper for families – no donations and many costs such as uniform,stationery and IT covered.   

State schools have already complained about this – for example Middle School West Auckland providing uniform and stationery has already upset some

Charter Schools are cheaper to set up than State schools and are funding at comparable levels. A major difference is that they are “bulk funded”. That means they are able to use their full funding pool to make all choices about how the families are supported and the children are educated.

The PPTA has fought hard against this and are proud to have prevented State school Principals being able to have a higher level of autonomy. It is extremely rich for the PPTA President to then point the finger at the taxpayer/government for the higher costs.

Time for parents to drive change in education in NZ – go to the Charter Schools looking for places, challenge the costs the State schools are imposing and the educational value of them, lobby for more Charters and bulk funding for State schools, demand honesty from the unions.

That last suggestion is asking a bit too much, since unions are inherently dishonest, especially teacher unions.


– Fairfax


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  • LabTested

    When my boy was 14 his Grand Dad gave him a Laptop for Xmas saying it would help him at school. It actually created a nightmare which took me more than 2 years to get on top of. On-line computer games until after midnight & all weekend. Consequently he was always late for school. Home work never done. Unfortunately he lived mostly with his mum. When I had him he would go though computer withdraw.

    Do not give boys laptops & expect them to be doing school work on it. Luckily his High School did not go down that road.

  • oldmanNZ

    if one was to log what ipads were actually used for most of the time at school…

    it would be Youtube, games, social media, and other social apps.

    Googling or research comes second.

    so the school introduce they need a “ipad” for school, then blame the govt for not funding it?

    • hbboy

      And the pity is the teachers/schools demand iPads (at $1,000 a pop) when you can get a 7″ android tablet for $200 which does the job just as well.

      • Bobb

        No they don’t. Most use cheap (er) androids.

    • Miguel

      I’d be annoyed if our girl’s school mandates iPads. They’re good for games and ‘edu-tainment’, but they’re not suitable for real productivity tasks, such as word processing, etc. A real laptop lets you do much more.

  • Whitey

    Thing is, state schools (and integrated ones) actually get funding specifically intended for ICT. In fact they get an enormous chunk of operational funding that is not tagged, meaning the school can use the cash for whatever they like.

  • The Accountant

    We’re implementing this at a school I’m on the Board of. But we are providing “cheap” (they are still excellent quality) chromebooks (11.6′ at about $300 a pop), excellent software focused towards learning, and the chromebooks must be family-funded if they want to take them home.

  • Bazza63

    When ever I have some teacher telling me why kids need laptops I point them to this page. http://rachel.worldpossible.org/ It iss project to leverage the large volume of open and free educational courseware and libraries available online and make them available to Emerging Countries schools and communities with no Internet access or very limited bandwidth. You can run the complete stack on a Raspberry Pi computer for $100.

    • SP

      Excellent link thanks… Have used Khan Academy before, it is the way of the future!

  • caochladh

    Who needs a calculator when you are taught to do this…….

    • Aucky

      I have seen five year old Kiwi-Chinese kids in action with this technique.