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National’s Disgusting Enrolment Policies

National’s policy for school enrolment schemes is a cop out that will allow the party to ignore the need to lift standards at all schools.

“National’s policy is based on a market theory that there has to be good schools and bad schools and that good children should be allowed to go to good schools even if their parents can’t afford to live where the good schools are,” Trevor Mallard said.

“I want a system which offers a high standard of education across the board.

“New Zealand parents expect to have a right to send their children to their local school. National is taking away that right from all parents. It will be schools who choose – not parents. At the same time they are implying that the white middle classes will get into their school of choice – it will only be Asians who won’t. That is disgusting.

“And to imply that a school should to turn away a Pakeha or Asian student living next door, in favour of a Pacific or Maori student living 20 kilometres away is blatant racism.

“Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a policy that will benefit Maori and Pacific students. Under National’s policy they will only get accepted to the perceived good schools if they are particularly intelligent or good at sport. Where does that leave the average Pakeha student living next door to a desirable school whose parents still want the best for them out of the state education system?

“National doesn’t want to put the energy into lifting the standards at all schools. Recent work that we’ve supported shows that such an approach can work, but National wants to take away the equity funding which allows that support.

“National will create ghetto schools which it will then generously allow a few lucky children to escape from,” Trevor Mallard said.

Trevor Mallard said in its policy announcement National has not taken into account the fact that schools who have too many pupils should shrink their zones. That was part of the zoning legislation they passed in 1998.

Ends

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