Legal change fuels rush to rent

16th February 2001 at 00:00
NEW ZEALAND. POPULAR schools are under pressure as parents rent or buy homes in nearby areas to take advantage of new legislation bringing back compulsory school zones.

Secondary schools in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have been swamped by last-minute applications from families who recently leased or rented property in the area.

New laws mean that schools have to accept all students living within a set area, even if their families are only renting for a short time. Students outside the zone are chosen through a ballot rather than the old system where top schools could select them against set criteria, such as academic and sporting ability.

Under the former rules of the market-driven education system, schools were allowed to choose their students. The most popular ran enrolment schemes, but critics said this meant that students could not always go to their local school because high-achievers jumped the quue, while some failing schools had to close.

In a speech to principals outlining the changes, education minister Trevor Mallard said the Labour government considered that students were entitled to attend their local school. The legislative change affects 300 of 2,400 schools.

"There is no use promoting choice when a parent does not have the fundamental choice to send their child to the school next door," he said.

Under the former system, Mr Mallard said, some schools had large numbers of surplus places while others were over-subscribed. Estate agents say that demand for houses is now high in popular school zones.

Margaret McLeod, the principal of Wellington girls college, said several families had moved into the zone this term to get their daughters into the 1,100-strong school. One family signed only a short-term lease, but the education ministry has told the school it must accept their daughter.


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now