Introducing Independent Schools of New Zealand (ISNZ)’s new Chief Executive, Guy Pascoe

Guy Pascoe speaks to School News NZ about his hopes for the industry ahead of his appointment to the top job at Independent Schools New Zealand (ISNZ).

Guy Pascoe has had a long career as an educator. For a decade, Pascoe taught in both state and independent schools in New Zealand and internationally, before moving into the local export education industry. He told School News that he began as a teacher of science, biology and education. Over the years, he gained experience with membership associations, including the Schools International Education Business Association. He describes himself as bringing “lots of pretty broad experience right across the education sector, which fits very nicely into this new role, which I’m very excited about!”.  

From Jan 1, 2023, Pascoe will take on the role of Chief Executive at ISNZ, a member organisation that represents the independent and private school view in New Zealand. Pascoe, who has been in the position of Deputy Chief Executive since 2021, takes over from outgoing Chief Executive Deborah James, who will remain in an advisory role for a fixed term during the transition period in 2023. 

When asked what he’d like to achieve during his term, Pascoe says he’d like to champion a more “equitable” funding regime for the Independent Schools sector, to support the “increased focus on equity and inclusion” he sees in independent schools of recent years.  

Recently, the annual ISNZ report found that 10% of students at independent schools were attending on a scholarship or bursary, representing a value of around $41 million in fees subsidies. The report compared this figure to the government allocation of $48 million (GST inclusive). Pascoe cites these figures to support his stance that increased funding to private schools would translate into more equitable access for the New Zealand public. 

Waxing philosophical, Pascoe told School News NZ his belief that independent education adds a net benefit to the “common good”, arguing that independent schools “complement the state sector, and add a competitive stimulus”. That complement is evident in the collaboration that occurs between schools, whether they are state, state-integrated or independent, says Pascoe.  

Ultimately, heading into his appointment in the new year, Pascoe says he’d like to see this inter-school collaboration “continue to grow and strengthen” uplifting the education sector as a whole.

Naomii Seah

Naomii Seah is a writer and journalist from Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. She has been covering education in New Zealand since 2022.
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