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Mallard Locks the School Gates

Mallard Locks the School Gates

The legacy of Trevor Mallard's time in office will be a generation of low-income families locked out of the education system, ACT Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"The Labour Government is responsible for putting early education out of reach for all but the privileged. It is no surprise that Government papers reveal fears that Education Minister Trevor Mallard's `reforms' will force parents to pull their children from early childhood education because of soaring costs.

"Mallard spent $30 million buying off his union friends, the kindergarten teachers, by proffering pay parity with primary and secondary school teachers. That forced independent centres to hike their fees to keep up. Mallard legislated heavily against independent providers, all because of his distaste for private enterprise mixing with education. He seemingly does not care that his changes harm the chances for every New Zealand family not lucky enough to get their child into kindergarten.

"Mr Mallard is opposed to choice. He believes every child must fit into one, state-mandated model. His ideological prejudice has forced secondary school children to act as guinea pigs to the completely flawed NCEA. And now he is ruining the chances of a whole new generation of New Zealand children. Things will only get worse, so long as this narrow-minded Government tells New Zealand parents that it knows better than mums and dads," Miss Coddington said.

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