Children let down by MIA Minister

The Minister of Education could end the seclusion of school children in small, dark rooms today if she wanted to, rather than leaving the welfare of those children in the hands of an Ombudsman’s review, the Green Party said today.

The Ombudsman and Children’s Commissioner today announced they will be investigating the use of seclusion rooms in schools, following reports that more than two schools have used them.

“The hands-off attitude displayed by Hekia Parata is letting children be locked in small dark rooms, instead of getting the education they deserve,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said today.

“For the Minister to say that an issue is intolerable is a bit rich, when she has the ability to make things better, right now, for children in seclusion by simply banning the practice.

“I am pleased that the Ombudsman and Children’s Commissioner are showing leadership on ending seclusion being used in our schools, despite Hekia Parata’s failure to step up.

“Schools do need to be better supported for dealing with students with high levels of learning support, but they also need the practice of seclusion rooms to be banned.

“My Select Committee inquiry into dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum disorders in schools heard from hundreds of children and families about the difficulties that they are put through to get an education.

“If teachers had universal professional development on learning support needs, then alternative strategies would be available rather than putting kids in small dark rooms.

“The Ministry of Education is due to release some guidelines on seclusion later this year. This is a total let down since these ‘guidelines’ will not be enforceable.

“A small number of schools are not handling the challenges of dealing with children that have learning support needs. These schools need to know seclusion rooms are not acceptable, and they need direct instruction and support from the Government to treat children properly,” said Ms Delahunty.

Latest Education Announcements


Greens welcome Matariki public holiday date, now we must build this significant time into our education system

The Green Party welcome the dates set out for the next 30 years for the Matariki public holiday, but more must be done to embed this significant cu...
Read More


Greens’ Māori Caucus Te Mātāwaka call for Matariki Ahunga Nui to be expanded in school curriculum

The Green Party are calling for an expansion of the current school curriculum on Matariki, so that a deeper understanding of how it relates to mana...
Read More


Now we have a chance to share our whakapapa

Green Party spokesperson for Education Teanau Tuiono welcomes the Government’s first step to implementing our own history into curriculum.
Read More


Every child deserves a high-quality, free, accessible public education that gives them the best possible start in life. We want all children to rea...
Read More


Green Party ensure 'use of force' against children is removed from upcoming law

The Green Party have secured legislative amendments in a bill expected to pass third reading this week, to ensure better rules for school teachers ...
Read More


Education Policy

Click here for our 2020 Election Priorities for Education Our education system should give everyone the best possible start on a life-long journey...
See More