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Govt U-Turn On Property Bulk Funding Welcomed

It is ironic that only six months ago Trevor Mallard described National's school property bulk funding policy as privatisation by stealth of school property yet today announced the Government's adoption of the policy, says Opposition Education spokesman Nick Smith.

"The Government has done a complete u-turn on the self managed bulk funding system for school property by re-announcing a trial of the policy under the nondescript term 'property programme'.

"Mr Mallard treats bulk funding like a dirty word he's not allowed to say. In reality he should just cut to the chase and call his property plan what it is - bulk funding of school property. The use of this 'dirty word' would highlight the inconsistency of Labour's policies.

"School Boards and Principals will be far better managers of their own property and buildings than bureaucrats.

"Mr Mallard is giving school more control over their property budgets at the same time that he is taking away school's control over their staffing budgets. The only explanation is the union's hold over this Government's education policy.

"Six months ago Mr Mallard was decrying property self management as a secret plot by National to privatise our schools. In December he cancelled National's property trial of forty schools yet six months later he is re-launching the policy as his own.

"It is flattering that Mr Mallard has reconsidered his earlier opposition to the concept and has picked up National's idea as his own," Dr Smith said.

Ends

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