The financial implications for schools of decentralised administration since the Picot report.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
In its report to the Government of the day, the Taskforce to Review Education Administration in New Zealand (The Picot Committee) made a number of proposals for administrative reform of the primary and secondary school system. It made the following claims as to the benefits which would flow from the adoption of its recommendations: 1. Parents, students, teachers and administration support staff would receive overall educational and social benefits. 2. Local institutions would have discretion over spending 94.5% of a budget of $1,937.7 million. 3. Central organisations would have discretion over the remaining 5.5% of expenditure. 4. Efficiency gains of $93 million would be returned to local institutions for educational use. This study assesses whether these benefits did in fact accrue by looking at the schools in one electorate, the old Lyttelton Electorate. It looks in particular at their financial statements. It asks whether schools in fact did have greater control over their finances, specifically whether the greater discretionary spending which was supposed to flow from decentralisation in fact occurred. The years 1993 and 1994 were selected so as to provide a snapshot of schools' financial situation four years after the Tomorrow's Schools reforms took place. It appears that, in the period in question, census data indicative of socio-economic status of the parents of children in the schools, when linked with schools' accounts, show that the Tomorrow's Schools reforms created less discretionary income for schools at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum than the reform promises implied and that the greater degree of such income at the higher end of the spectrum was created not by the reforms but by the parents' capacity to generate income additional to government grants.