The Ministry of Education is bloated, inefficient and making the jobs of principals more difficult by "stealing their precious time" making them fill out paperwork, says the outgoing president of the Secondary Principals' Association.

In his final comment to members this week, Patrick Walsh wrote that he had met many hardworking and highly skilled Ministry employees.

"It has, however, struck me as odd that in an era of self-managing schools we have a ministry that is so large and yet not able to perform in an effective and efficient manner.

"The catch-cry from the Ministry is that principals need to be leaders of teaching and learning. And we accept that. But the amount of paperwork that they require us to fill out and complete is huge."


Mr Walsh, who steps down after three years as Spanz president on Tuesday, told the Herald that despite having about 3000 employees, the Ministry had underperformed for more than a decade.

That had been confirmed by State Services Commission reviews, he said, and Minister of Education Hekia Parata needed to take action.

In a statement yesterday, Ms Parata said the Ministry was focused on managing costs and increasing the quality of the services and functions it provides.

"We are all interested in a high-performing ministry and that's what we are looking to achieve."