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From the Rector

On Strowan – Volume 14 // Issue 8 // 14 November 2019

More news for Rector

"...they represent hope for the future in their positive focus, thoughtful opinions, concern for others, connected relationships, and considered choices."
Christine Leighton, Rector

As the school year begins to draw to a close there is as always much to celebrate. Included in this On Strowan is a ‘top successes’ poster for St Andrew’s College in 2019. It was a difficult task to reduce the vast array of team achievements plus many individual successes. As a College, we feel incredibly proud of the energy and effort so many students put in to achieve at this level.

As a school and a complex organisation, there are many things that happen externally which affect our business operations and decision making. I wish to draw attention to and comment on two of these.

The first is the PPTA Teacher contract settlement. The recent pay increase for teachers was widely applauded by Principals and Boards across the country in the knowledge that the demands on teachers have been increasing each year, and their pay relativity has been declining versus other comparable professions over the last two decades. It has been increasingly difficult to attract university graduates into teaching and in most schools, there has been an alarming decrease in the number of applicants for positions advertised.

The remuneration settlement for teachers was, in my mind, necessary and fully justified. Of course the reality for independent schools is this pay increase is not funded by the government, indeed the government subsidy for St Andrew’s College for 2020 was reduced by 4.1% from 2019. This is a direct result of the $45.7m cap put on funding to independent schools in 2010.

ISNZ (Independent Schools of New Zealand) have been active in putting a strong case to the government for an increase in this funding for many years but to no avail.

Hence the full effect of the teacher pay increase needs to be shouldered by independent schools themselves. From June 2019 through to July 2021 most of our teachers’ salaries (Pre-school, Preparatory, and Secondary) will have increased by 15.4%. With no change in staffing ratios, our teacher salaries will be $2.3m greater in 2022 than they are for 2019. This is a challenging reality for all independent schools, and we will continue to conduct a robust budgeting process to ensure that our resources are wisely used to benefit all students and target College priorities. The usual letter from the Board regarding fee increases for 2020 will be sent out to our community by the end of November.

The second area which may affect some schools in New Zealand is the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care in state and faith-based institutions between 1950 and 1999. A statement from Board Chair, Bryan Pearson, has been emailed to current parents and Old Collegians.

We were impressed by the positive group of 178 leavers who are graduating at the end of this year and believe that as a group they represent hope for the future in their positive focus, thoughtful opinions, concern for others, connected relationships, and considered choices. Our hope is that all our students will finish the year with the satisfaction of knowing they have given their best effort in all endeavours.

Ngā mihi nui.

With kind regards,

Christine Leighton

On Strowan – Volume 14 // Issue 8 // 14 November 2019

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