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Red Tape Regime For Schools Opposed

National will be fighting every step of the way the Government's plans to prescribe a one-size-fits-all regime to all schools, National's Education spokesperson Gerry Brownlee said today.

The Education Select Committee starts hearing submissions today on the Education Amendment Bill (No 2) which forces schools to do more planning and wider reporting to the Ministry of Education, gives the Minister of Education more power to interfere in the running of a school and establishes an Education Council to replace the Teacher Registration Board.

"The Government is proposing to tie our schools up in red tape. School plans will have to be submitted to the Ministry of Education and ticked off by a bureaucrat before a school can do its job. This will stifle innovation and discourage local solutions to local problems.

"This Bill betrays parents and principals and the progressive direction our schools have taken since Tomorrow's Schools was introduced more than a decade ago.

"The changes will bring back bureaucracy. The last thing parents and principals want is a return to the days when schools could barely put in a stationery order without getting approval from the Education Board.

"There is a need to help poorly performing schools by intervening earlier but our high flyers shouldn't be tied down as a result.

"This is an inflexible one-size-fits-all approach to our schools system. It has nothing to do with achieving higher standards or excellence in learning. It has everything to do with centralised government control," Mr Brownlee said.


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