Independent schools: What would a smart state do?

10 August 2020

By Derek Gill

A report for to Independent Schools New Zealand.

Independent Schools of New Zealand commissioned NZIER to review the role of the independent schools sector and to review the performance of state system schools. In brief we found that independent schools improve student outcomes with higher PISA scores and NCEA endorsement rates (around 10% more students attain excellence at Level 3) and all at lower fiscal costs. Independent schools save the Government at least $175 million p.a. in operating expenses but only by making some parents pay twice for their children’s schooling.

However independent schools face a widening gap between their funding and that for state or integrated-schools which exposes Government’s already stretched fiscal position to further risk. A smarter strategy would be to increase the subsidy for independent schools so it is linked to the cost of the most efficient state system schools.

For more material on the contribution of independent schools to New Zealand's economy go to https://www.isnz.org.nz/content/economic-reports-2/