Primary schools feel zone heat

School ZoneStressed primary schools are struggling to fend off enrolment challenges from out-of-zone parents, according to the Herald on Sunday.

It reported that heads of decile 9 and 10 schools in some of the Auckland’s most desirable areas say they don’t have the funding or resources to keep up with increasingly complex ruses from people claiming to live within school catchments.

“Popular high schools have long complained of zone cheats but it has now spread to primary levels. Overworked headmasters are knocking on doors in their own time during evenings and early mornings to weed out the pretenders. They say it is the only way to catch people. Some school staff even pore over power bills to compare electricity usage with a typical family. But the parents appear to be winning.”

The newspaper said Ministry of Education figures it had obtained revealed Auckland schools had annulled 16 enrolments, unchallenged, in the past year. In another 24 cases, parents had challenged the rejection. The ministry ruled in the parents’ favour on 14 and directed the school to accept the enrolments. In three other cases, the schools backed down and accepted the child.

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