Novopay botch-ups cost $45m to fix

COSTLY: A Ministerial inquiry was carried out into the botched teacher payroll system Novopay, which has cost about $45m ...

COSTLY: A Ministerial inquiry was carried out into the botched teacher payroll system Novopay, which has cost about $45m to fix

The payroll botch-up, Novopay, that left thousands of teachers out of pocket has cost taxpayers an additional $45 million to fix.

Ministry of Education secretary Peter Hughes was quizzed by MPs on the Education and Science committee today over Novopay, charter schools and special needs assistance.

Hughes conceded Novopay had "cost us dearly".

"From the top of my mind, we have spent about $45 million additional on the system."

While Hughes said Novopay was now doing its job, he couldn't say with certainty that staff leave would be calculated accurately in the system.

A ministerial inquiry had been carried out when the extent of the Novopay issues had been revealed and the ministry accepted "a lot of the fault for that," Hughes said.

"The system didn't perform as it should have."

The need for an "attitude change" around children with disabilities was also addressed by Hughes.

The ministry could help families on a case-by-case basis with going to a school outside of their zone when a local school wasn't catering for their needs, he said.

Labour MP Chris Hipkins said he would be "distressed" if the ministry's answer to schools discriminating against children with disabilities was to simply move them on.

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But the starting point for the ministry would always be to deal with the school at hand and make sure every child was "in an environment where they can learn," Hughes said.

Parental engagement played a huge part in ensuring a child achieved at school and sometimes the smallest amount of information was all parents needed to improve relationships.

"I think we can do a much better job supporting parents to do their job of being parents."

Information about how to read NCEA results, what to ask at parent/teacher interviews and how to help with homework was all "hoovered up" by parents, he said.

 - Stuff

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