Mallard Caught Out By Awatere Huata - ACT
ACT Education spokesperson Donna Awatere Huata said today the Minister of Education, Trevor Mallard has been "caught out" on his interpretation of what the Targeted Individual Entitlement (TIE) scheme has achieved for low-income families.
"The Minister has totally contradicted the evidence in the Evaluation of the TIE Scheme Reports, 1997, 1998 and 1999.
"Mr Mallard said the TIE scheme has not closed the gap for low socio-economic families and the general population in educational achievement," said Mrs Awatere Huata, "This is simply not true. The TIE scheme is the only initiative that has been shown to close the gap in the last six years.
"The aim of the TIE scheme was to lift the level of educational achievement of children from families who earn under $25 000 combined salary.
"This target was met."
"Two thirds of families of TIE scheme children have household incomes below $20 000; and two thirds are single parent families."
"Every TIE scheme report states that TIE children achieved as well as, or better than other fee paying students. And TIE children were rated by both principals and teachers as between average and above average academic progress."
"And 31% of children on the TIE scheme are Maori.
"The gap between low-income families and the general population has been a nightmare for the past ten years, said Mrs Awatere Huata, "And the Minister of Education has axed the one programme that can help.
"I don't know what reports the Minister was referring to, but he has been caught out. Either he has read the reports on the TIE scheme as he said in the house, or he hasn't.
"If he has misled the house as to the contents of the reports then that is a very serious matter."