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Mallard's Negligence Ruins Start Of School Year

The rise in school rolls was entirely predictable, ACT Education Spokesman Donna Awatere Huata said today.

"Mr Mallard has let us all down. He's engaged in blatant spin since the end of last year when I warned that there would be a teacher shortage crisis. Over and over he has denied that there is any kind of problem.

"Now that it's far too late, he's admitted what teachers and principals have known all along: there are thousands more kids at school this year, and not enough teachers to cope, or classrooms to fit everyone.

"The Ministry of Education's school roll predictions are pathetic. Mr Mallard cites "unexpected" factors such as immigration, emigration and increased residential building in Auckland. These are exactly the things that the Ministry's bureaucrats should be monitoring. Are they sharing any information at all with other Government agencies? Do they monitor resource consents for residential building? Do they even look at employment statistics or immigration records?

"Mr Mallard has had all the resources at hand since he was appointed. He should have known about this last year.

"The Minister has been absolutely negligent to allow the school year to start without tackling this problem," Mrs Awatere Huata said.


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