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Auckland Grammar Headmaster Gets it Wrong

Claims by the Headmaster of Auckland Grammar School that the government was planning to return to compulsory student association membership have been blown out of the water today with the introduction of the Education Amendment Bill

Earlier this month, Headmaster John Morris and the Education Forum claimed that the government was planning to return to the 'anachronism of compulsory student membership'.

However, legislation released today clearly allows for students to adopt either compulsory or voluntary student membership and in the case of compulsory membership, sets up guidelines through which students can be exempted from membership.

"The Labour/Alliance Education Amendment Act is in fact a very balanced and responsible piece of legislation that encourages Student Associations and Tertiary Councils to work together in the best interests of all students," said David Penney, National President of the Aotearoa Post-compulsory Student Union.

"It clearly places the decision regarding the membership status of a student association in the rightful hands of tertiary students and not secondary school principals."

David Penney also criticised Mr Morris for other inaccurate claims he made when he was trying to whip up hysteria about student associations.

"We suggest Mr Morris take some remedial maths classes, as not only did he misrepresent the intentions of the bill, but also claimed that the 'vast majority' of students associations adopted voluntary membership."

"In fact in 1999 more than 60% of student associations opted to stay with compulsory membership. I call on Mr Morris and the Education Forum to drop the hysteria and hyperbole and instead base their comments on the facts."

ENDS

For more comment contact:

David Penney, APSU National President: 025 756 526 or 04 498 2501


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