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Zoning Lottery Bad For North Shore Students

Zoning Lottery Bad For North Shore Students And Parents

Parents have every right to be furious with Labour for dictating what school
their children must go to, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

Mrs Shipley was at Westlake Girls High School on the North Shore this afternoon speaking to local Principals and Board members and said North Shore schools are among those worst hit by the Government's rigid, ideological school zoning policy.

"Over the next three months 380 schools across New Zealand will be allocating places to out-of-zone students by lottery. This defies common sense and is anything but fair.

"Parental choice is completely removed under this ludicrous system. The rigidness of it is highlighted on the North Shore where there are only two non-religious single sex schools. Parents out of those schools' zones will have to chance their luck in the ballot to send their students there.

"Some students who live only just outside a school's zone will be denied access, while others miles away might win the ballot and be granted entry. Students with particular interests such as sport or music will be randomly scattered to schools which may not place an emphasis on those pursuits. A student who excels in music may well win the ballot at the school that excels in netball, and vice-versa.

"This bizarre form of social engineering assumes a random ballot will make better decisions than Principals and Boards. This is incredibly insulting to parents and principals and is a vote of no confidence in Tomorrow's Schools.

"The Government's policy tells students that regardless of how hard they study or what they achieve, the fate of their schooling will depend on a ballot. Effort is not irrelevant and life isn't just one big gamble," Mrs Shipley said.

Ends

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