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Minister disregards Correspondence School parents

7 July

Minister disregards Correspondence School parents

The New Zealand School Trustees Association says it is deeply disappointed that the Minister of Education has chosen to disregard the voice of students and parents in the governance of the Correspondence School.

The Minister, Trevor Mallard has appointed a new board for the school, with the current elected parent representative effectively being told she is no longer required.

NZSTA President Chris France says the announcement has come as a surprise, as there has been no prior consultation with the Association.

“We have a situation where a parent representative was elected with expectations of being able provide a parent voice, and it is sad that the parent perspective has been abandoned in this way.”

Chris France says the Correspondence School is the biggest school in New Zealand. It has a unique audience of students who are isolated either by distance or not fitting mainstream schooling.

“This school has a unique parent and student body and their views should be reflected in its governance.”

He says it is accepted that the school needs to reshape itself in the 21st century.

“The Minister’s board provides financial and education views but not the consumers and that is a fundamental change to a philosophy that parental input is the key aspect of self governance. How will this board ensure it gains the voice of parents and students and incorporate it into the new vision it develops?”

Chris France says boards of trustees represent the “moral owners” of a school.

“In this case it represents the 20,000 students and their families and its role is to represent the interests and needs of the community.”

He says the unilateral change in the board structure by abandoning parental representation is a worrying development.

ENDS

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