Education Act review a farce

The Government review of the Education Act is a farce that removes from the table anything that will involve spending more money, or challenging some of the most controversial policies of the National Government, the Green Party says.

“It is impossible to have a genuine review of the Education Act if the Government has excluded all the most controversial aspects of its education reforms, including National Standards, Charter Schools, and the new undemocratic Education Council,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“The Minister has refused to hear any suggestions that might result in more money being spent on education and this just shows how disingenuous this whole consultation process is.

“The review looks like an exercise designed entirely to find new ways to blame schools in poor areas for the lower achievement of their pupils.

“Schools working with the poorest children in New Zealand, and often with large numbers of kids with special needs, need more support from the Minister, not more threats.

“The Minister seems to be forgetting that education is a route out of poverty, but she’s going out of her way to make life harder for schools in poorer communities.

“We know what works in these schools. Feeding the kids, lower class sizes, supporting the parents, and support for extra curricula activities all make a meaningful difference in children’s lives.

“What the Minister is saying is that a school of wealthy kids, fully prepared with everything that they need to succeed, will be rewarded, but a school with disadvantaged kids will be punished.

“A review of the Education Act, should be about getting the best solutions for how to create the best education opportunities, instead this so-called consultation is about generating views that affirm the Ministers’ own ideas,” Ms Delahunty said.