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Zoning Turns Schools into Spies

Zoning Turns Schools into Spies

Successful schools, especially in the Auckland area, are being punished by the Government's extreme authoritarian zoning policies, ACT New Zealand Associate Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"When I was on the Board of Trustees last year of a popular Auckland school we had to check suspicious enrolments by knocking on doors at 7.30 in the morning.

"Parents - many from South Auckland - were just trying to get the best education for their girls but their local school was just not of their choosing. They hated me - and justifiably so - for standing in the way of their daughters' education.

"However, our school was required by law to carry out the Minister's policy and the Board of Trustees was the `meat in the sandwich'.

"Today I see that Macleans College, in Howick, is hiring private detectives to investigate dubious enrolments.

"Thanks to Macleans' outstanding principal, Byron Bentley, and fantastic teaching staff, Macleans College has extremely high academic achievements. Students at Macleans are among the best in the country, this year gaining 112 A Bursary passes, 78 B Bursaries, and 86 Scholarships.

"Of course this makes the school even more popular, and its roll is reaching crisis point, up to 2084 from 1759 in 2001," Miss Coddington said.

"It's time Education Minister Trevor Mallard faced reality and introduced policies which would give choice to parents. Schools should not be spending valuable resources on hiring private investigators. That's money that could be paying good teachers more.

"It's Mums and Dads who know best where to send their children to school, not the Minister of Education."

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