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NZ education system getting left behind

Bill English

National Party Leader

6th September 2002

New Zealand education system getting left behind

Briefing papers for the Minister of Education show an education system under enormous pressure, says National Leader Bill English.

"Despite the secondary teachers pay settlement, the issue is far from over. The papers say that financial pressures will be "as great as or greater than in the last three years", and that the Government must be "open to considering real wage increases over time".

"The settlement has raised expectations right across the public sector and is already putting financial pressure on the Government.

"As well as teacher's pay, the Ministry warns that the entire sector "will need significant new resources over the next three years".

"The papers confirm the huge damage and disruption the NCEA has caused to schools. They say schools are showing signs of "stress and fatigue", and that there are "increasing concerns about the pressures facing secondary schools".

"There are some excellent ideas in the briefing papers that Labour will be ideologically opposed to. National supports the need to focus on and reward excellence, to improve pay and career options for high-quality teachers, and the need to "explore new models for the organisation of secondary schools."

"The Government is getting good substantial advice on how to lift standards in education. It's a shame for New Zealand's children that they are ignoring it," said Mr English.


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