Two Rotorua schools are among a group that has launched a $23,000 campaign opposing a scheme for about 20 regional "hubs" to take over most powers from elected school boards.
Rotorua Boys' High School and John Paul College are part of the "Community Schools Alliance", backed by 43 of the country's 2431 state and integrated schools.
They oppose a scheme by a taskforce led by former principal Bali Haque for about 20 regional "hubs" to take over most powers from elected school boards. It's known as the Tomorrow's Schools review.
The group has launched a website, a Facebook page and a Twitter and had full-page advertisements in yesterday's Herald and Dominion Post at a cost of $23,871.
The advertisements state the advertising has been "paid for by locally raised funds from the 42 foundation members of our alliance".
John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh said the group agreed reform was necessary but were unhappy with the hub proposal.
"We agree the reforms are necessary in terms of greater equality across schools ... doing a better job for Māori and Pacific students, reducing competition between schools. We understand that.
"Our fundamental concern is the model they've come up with is a one-size-fits-all approach.
"There's no option for school governance which is well-managed and well-delivered for them to say we don't need a hub."
Walsh said the approach was "unnecessary and undesirable".
Rotorua Boys' High School principal Chris Grinter said he felt the proposed changes didn't address key issues in teaching and schools at the moment.
"There's a shortage of highly skilled teachers.
"To me, there are a whole lot of structural changes which will come at a time there are more important issues to address."
Grinter said he didn't oppose all the proposed reforms and saw some benefits including support for schools that struggled.
"I'm supportive of the group that are questioning the benefits of these wide-ranging high-impact set of changes in the sector.
"There's a lot more we need to know and I'm sure concerns will be expressed by more schools in due course."
The alliance's 43 schools include some of the country's largest and a mix of same-sex and co-educational schools, state, integrated and former charter schools.
However, Haque, who led the taskforce said school boards of trustees would "still have a really important role to play in terms of the character and purpose of schools".
"We don't see the schools being run by the hub. The way we see it is hubs providing support for schools that has been missing for a long time."
He said school principals would retain day-to-day control of operational funding and hubs could delegate control of property to competent schools: "They just have to go through a process."
- Additional reporting Simon Collins