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Schools' Review Delay Good News

Schools' Review Delay Good News

Education Minister Trevor Mallard has thankfully seen reason and backed away from illogical decisions to close good rural schools, said Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Vice President Charlie Pedersen

“The school review process had fallen off the rails and Federated Farmers members will welcome the five year moratorium, especially in rural areas hard hit by recent climatic events," he said.

The Federation has for months been expressing concerns to Mr Mallard about the speed of the review process, the principles on which reviews are based, and the ongoing effects on rural communities.

"The current round of reviews was also destabilising education because school staff and boards of trustees were anticipating the possibility that their school could be next," Mr Pedersen said. "Clearly this is not a good way to run a school in the medium term."

The five-year moratorium should allow more robust research on and monitoring of completed network reviews, and an assessment of the effects of closures and mergers on education outcomes.

"Farmers in areas where reviews are still under way will expect the minister to stick very closely to clearly identified positive education outcomes when making final decisions on the future of rural schools”, Mr Pedersen said.

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