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Education researcher visiting New Zealand

Education researcher visiting New Zealand advocates 'school choice'

An education researcher visiting New Zealand this week says 'school choice' should be introduced to give parents choice over how their children are educated.

Jennifer Buckingham, a policy analyst with the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), will be in New Zealand from 20-23 March.

"In other countries, student-centred funding and school choice have been on the agenda for many years... . It really is time for us to become more open to new ideas. To ignore this new evidence is shameful, and condemns us to another decade of ineffective policy and talking in circles," Ms Buckingham says.

"With school choice, every child would be entitled to a level of funding that gives them access to the state school of their choice, and which they could supplement if they prefer an integrated or private school.

"Real school choice means that parents have the responsibility, the means and the information to choose a school for their child - state, integrated or private - and schools have the resources, the autonomy and the incentives to respond."

Education Forum policy advisor Norman LaRocque said Ms Buckingham's visit would make a valuable contribution to the school choice debate.

"We are very pleased to bring a researcher of such quality to New Zealand to help broaden and inform the debate over education funding policy," he said.

* On Thursday, 20 March, Ms Buckingham will speak in Wellington on the subject of school choice. The address will be given at the Ministry of Food, Bowen State Building, Bowen Street, at 5.30pm.

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