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National delivers bold reform plan for education

Bill English National Party Leader

28 June 2002

National delivers bold reform plan for education

National today announced a bold plan to raise education standards for young New Zealanders and put parents and principals in control of schools.

"The knowledge wave will become a frozen millpond without a new direction in education. The current chaos in our schools represents the final gasps of a centralised system that has had its day," says National Leader Bill English.

"National's plan is about raising standards by trusting schools, better rewarding our top teachers and giving parents increased choice. We will assess nationally in literacy and numeracy and we will intervene far more quickly in failing schools so that no child falls behind.

"Tomorrow's Schools has become Yesterday's Schools. National will reverse the increased control of Government, bureaucrats and unions and put the decision making in the hands of principals, teachers and parents. We believe education decisions for children should be made by people closest to them.

"We will put inspired and motivated teachers in the classrooms by raising training standards and paying good teachers good money. As a parent, I see the impact the teachers' crisis is having on the confidence, and the qualifications, of our secondary students and it's totally unacceptable.

"National will work with the education sector to develop a world-class assessment system that will reward success and tackle failure. We want to get the basics right in the early years so that every 9-year-old is able to read, write and do maths. Failing schools won't escape because they'll be targeted with a new Rescue Recovery Action Plan that's aimed at giving children the education they need and deserve.

"Today's education announcement complements our policies on zoning, school qualifications and teacher pay released earlier this year.

"We will deliver a modern education system. It will give schools, principals and parents the flexibility and control they need, and it will motivate and inspire teachers and students.

"I'm looking forward to giving New Zealanders in this election campaign the choice of a far better education system," says Mr English.


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