Education Minister Hekia Parata and Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye today announced a plan to transform the way school property is delivered to better support 21st Century learning environments and improved outcomes for students.
“Just as importantly, it will free up sector leaders, principals and their boards, to focus on the main business of schools – raising achievement,” Ms Parata says.
The plan focuses on eight areas including investing in areas of growth; helping schools resolve outstanding property issues faster; providing greater support for major property works; and offering a flexible range of property services to schools.
“A major focus is on planning for growth,” Ms Parata says. “In Budget 2013 we set aside $134 million to support new schools and roll growth over the next four years. I am pleased to confirm that $70 million of this has been allocated to the establishment of three new schools and 65 additional classrooms over the next two years.
“The three new primary schools will be in South Auckland, Hamilton North and Queenstown and they will open for Term 1, 2015. These sites have been chosen to match population and roll growth.
“These are in addition to the $1billion our Government has committed to the rebuild of the education network in greater Christchurch, over the next 10 years, which will also include new schools, and further classrooms,” Ms Parata says.
“School property is a large asset with a book value of $10.7 billion. But it is not just a physical asset. I understand the potential to improve the lives of young New Zealanders by having more inspiring and quality learning environments,” Ms Kaye says.
“In 2012 the Ministry of Education commissioned engineering company Beca to a review school property management. This was prompted by the need to have better and more efficient delivery of school property infrastructure, to ensure that future spending will deliver value for money and better meet the needs of 21st Century learners.
“There are significant improvements that can be made and it’s important that we have a sustainable school infrastructure system.
“Today I am releasing the Beca review and the Ministry’s initial response to its findings. The response is comprehensive and includes the Ministry establishing an Education Infrastructure Service by the end of 2013.
“A private sector Advisory Board will also be established to provide greater innovation, commercial expertise and independent advice to the Secretary for Education and Ministers.
“The Education Infrastructure Service will include a dedicated team to resolve long standing, complex property issues.
“There is also a programme focusing on specific schools that require major developments. The Ministry has created a fund of $300 million over six years to assist approximately 30 schools to deliver essential infrastructure and modernise their facilities.
“There will also be a facilities management service available for schools that want it. This will be a voluntary service for schools and boards of trustees who want to step away from day-to-day property management.
“The changes we are announcing today are about moving from a one-size-fits-all school property system to providing greater choice and flexibility for schools and students,” Ms Kaye says.
“The Government is committed to investing in education and making sure schools have high-quality infrastructure to get the best learning outcomes,” Ms Parata says. “We believe this eight-point plan will deliver that.”
“It is another practical step in the Ministry of Education focusing on using system levers to support the sector leaders, boards of trustees and principals, to be free of operational functions to focus on professional matters of teaching and learning.”
The Beca Review of Frameworks for School Property Management, Ministry of Education responses to Beca’s recommendations and Eight-point plan to transform school property services – can be found at: http://www.minedu.govt.nz/propertyupdate
What will the schools be called and what year groups will they cater for?
Ormiston Primary School will be a Year 1 to Year 6 school.
Endeavour Avenue Primary School will be a Year 1 to Year 6 school.
Shotover Primary School will be a Year 1 to Year 8 school.
When will the new schools be open?
Each school will be open from the beginning of Term one 2015.
How big will the schools be?
Initially the schools will have rolls of about 100 or less but these will grow as the new subdivisions servicing these schools are developed. The final rolls will be between 600 and 650 for Endeavour Primary School and Shotover Primary School. Ormiston Primary School will be slightly larger at over 700. It may take a number of years for the schools to reach this number of enrolments.
Will the schools be open for all year groups from day one?
Ormiston Primary School will be open for all year groups from day one, but the two other schools (Endeavour Primary School and Shotover Primary School) are likely to have staged openings. These schools will be open for years one to three from 2015.
Does the community have any say in what the schools will look like?
Yes. The Ministry of Education will appoint an establishment board of trustees for each school which will have input into the design of each school. Some of the people appointed to these boards will be straight out of the communities that will be supporting these schools. This means the community has input into the new schools.
School property management
Does today’s announcement mean the Ministry will manage property for schools?
No. School boards will still be responsible for managing school property unless they want to take up the facilities management service.
The Ministry will provide a better service and more support to school boards – particularly where schools are:
- facing complex property issues; or
- experiencing difficulty in resolving property issues or progressing works; or
- want to contract out facilities management.
The Minister of Education has established, with the Secretary for Education, a refocus of the Ministry’s approach that emphasises system stewardship – property is a system lever – to support sector leadership by principals and their boards. This approach to property reflects that refocus.
How will the Ministry deliver this change in approach to property management?
The Ministry of Education will establish a dedicated Education Infrastructure Service by the end of the year.
- consolidate the Ministry’s procurement, asset management and ICT infrastructure expertise and functions; and
- incorporate school transport.
There will be an advisory board established to bring in commercial and private sector expertise and inform school property management.
What changes will we see in the approach to property management?
A dedicated team will be in place to help schools resolve outstanding property issues faster, where schools are experiencing difficulties in gaining traction.
The Ministry will initiate a programme of assistance for schools facing the most complex property issues – this will provide a coordinated and staged redevelopment approach.
Specific property-related services will be available to create choice for schools that want to opt out of property management responsibilities to increase their focus on teaching and learning.
What type of property services will be available to schools?
- Standardised contracts that make delivering property solutions easier at the school level and leverage best practice across the portfolio
- panels of certified service providers
- facility maintenance contracts or services that take away some of the routine maintenance work from boards
- the ability to opt out of managing complex property projects – these would be managed by the Ministry in partnership with the school, allowing the school to focus on educational outcomes.
What are the benefits of accessing property services through the Ministry?
- Property services and expertise procured through national programmes can deliver higher quality services and products for improved value for money
- access to services through the Ministry will minimise the time school leaders have to commit to administering individual tendering processes and day-to-day project management
- a specific school may have limited expertise in this area or want to reduce time spent on property matters to increase its focus on teaching and learning.
What’s the timeline for implementing the new approach to school property management?
The Ministry will be engaging with schools and the wider sector in the coming months and phasing in new and expanded services in 2014.
Was consideration given to transferring school property management out of the Ministry?
The Government decided not to transfer school property management to a statutory entity as was suggested by Beca in the review.
Ministers considered the views of key agencies including Treasury, State Services Commission and Ministry of Education who supported an Education Infrastructure Service within the Ministry of Education.
The agencies’ view was that a statutory entity could lead to cost escalation, strategic misalignment between property and network functions, and added complexity for schools.
Ministers agreed with the view of joint agencies that the Ministry of Education:
- is best placed to consider the needs of the whole schooling network
- can connect the delivery of educational infrastructure to improved educational outcomes
- can integrate the key infrastructure elements of property, ICT and transport
- knows about the infrastructure issues that need to be resolved across the network; has in-depth knowledge of the complex property issues schools face; and works with the varying expertise school boards have in this area
- understands how modern learning environments support improved levels of student engagement and achievement
- can deliver increased bargaining power through national procurement programmes that can deliver better quality of services at either the same or at a lower cost.
The Associate Minister recently announced that the disposal of education properties would be transferred to LINZ – how does that relate to today’s announcements?
The Associate Minister of Education announced a shift in the role of the Ministry from property funder to asset manager, and aligning the management of infrastructure with improved student outcomes.
A dedicated Education Infrastructure Service is being established by the Ministry to focus on this new approach.
Property disposal is removed from the Ministry’s core business. It has been transferred to an agency that already has the appropriate specialisation needed to accelerate this process.