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Govt. sidelines parents and compromises standards

Dr Nick Smith

Opposition Education Spokesman

27 March 2000

Government sidelines parents and compromises standards

Changes to school enrolment announced today by the new Government will compromise standards and side-line parents, says National's Education spokesman Dr Nick Smith.

Dr Smith criticised the announcement by the Minister of Education Trevor Mallard in a speech to the Rotary Club in Richmond tonight.

"The changes mean that schools which don't meet parents expectations will have children forced into them. They'll also remove the incentive for schools to improve and respond to what parents want for their children.

"This is classic centralisation from a government determined to tell parents from Kaitaia to Bluff where to sent their kids to school."

The other aspect of the announcement is the cancellation of bulk funding.

"Cancelling bulk funding takes away from parents' elected representatives the option of managing a school's full budget.

"This will take all control and decision making out of parents hands.

"The bottom line is that the new government does not trust parents," says Dr Smith.

Ends

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