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Government Loses Education Compass

Media Release 01 February 2013

Government Loses Education Compass

The Government’s recent announcement to make Whanganui Collegiate School a state integrated school signals it has lost its overall direction for education according to Phil Harding, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation.

‘The Government set a direction for education that was all about focusing on children at the bottom of the achievement ladder,’ said Harding. ‘It was made very clear that too many of these children are Māori and Pacific Islanders and we agree with the Government that this is not acceptable,’ he said.

‘Schools have responded to the Government’s priority and struggle every day to finance the interventions and learning support necessary to make a difference for those children at the bottom of the pile. Meanwhile, the Government writes out a cheque for $3million to save a private school which already has some of the highest success rates in the country, is able to select the students it wants to maintain that success rate and enrols almost none of the students the Government wants schools to focus on,’ he said.

Such actions send very mixed messages to the education sector.

‘We feel that the Government has lost its way with education. From its class size u-turn, chaos over Christchurch school mergers and closures, the Novopay shambles, the Salisbury school u-turn and now this,’ he said.


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