• Nick Smith

Education Minister Nick Smith today announced the first set of integrated schools to receive Government assistance for expansion to accommodate roll growth, at St Patrick's School in Kaiapoi.

"Last year the Government decided to assist integrated schools with roll growth where it will assist us in managing high growth areas. Nine schools throughout New Zealand will receive assistance in this first round. The policy reflects the Government's move to a more flexible funding framework for school property where assistance is targeted to where the dollar will go the furthest in terms of supporting growth and quality education outcomes in the wider state sector."

Integrated schools are former private schools that have been integrated into the state education system. They receive Government funding for operations and teacher salaries, but the proprietors of the schools are responsible for costs associated with all land and buildings. The policy does not mean that the Crown will become responsible for meeting the integrated schools' expansion costs per se. Criteria for approval for assistance were agreed to between the Association of Proprietors of Integrated School (APIS) and the Ministry of Education.

"Nine integrated schools in Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Wellington and Christchurch will each get an extra classroom this financial year."

This is the first round of approvals, the second is currently being considered by the Ministry in consultation with APIS. The process is ongoing and assistance will continue to be provided in high roll growth areas.

"Integrated schools are a valued feature of the state education system and offer choice for parents wanting education with a special character. I am pleased that the Government has been able to assist these schools to maintain that choice."