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Labour Education Policy Good For Rural School

26 July 1999
PR82/99

Labour Education Policy Good For Rural Schools

Federated Farmers has welcomed the Labour Party's education policy released today, for recognising the particular education needs of rural people.

President Alistair Polson said, "It is good to see that the Labour Party has sought to find solutions to the very issues rural people have raised".

"Many of our rural schools provide an excellent education despite the odds. It is important that the standard of education provided by these schools is maintained, and that those struggling are provided with assistance."

"Federated Farmers is particularly pleased that Labour will investigate the formula for the decile status of schools. However, Labour must go further, as the present formula is flawed and results in the automatic under-funding of many rural schools," commented Mr Polson

"I welcome the Labour Party's recognition of the specific needs of rural schools and look forward to working through the details."

Federated Farmers is pleased that Labour's education policy recognises that rural schools have specific challenges that require tailor-made solutions.

"Rural schools, particularly the smaller, geographically isolated ones, have problems with attracting staff, ensuring adequate support for teachers and Board of Trustees, and with finding relief teachers."

"This step by Labour builds on its announcement in May that it would review rural school staffing levels and follows on from the Education Review Office (ERO) report that found problems in small primary schools - many of which are rural schools," concluded Mr Polson.

ENDS

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