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Smith: School cultures a crucial factor

Media Statement For immediate release Thursday, 9 October, 2003

Smith: School cultures a crucial factor

United Future's Murray Smith today said Education Minister Trevor Mallard was selling children short by ignoring the various cultures and identities of schools in pursuing the closure of various Upper Hutt schools.

"Not everything can be measured by the dollar, and if the Minister is really committed to the educational achievements of young people, then he should be paying a lot more attention to the importance of a variety of school cultures," Mr Smith, a Hutt Valley MP, said.

Previously Mr Mallard had shown scant regard for schools' culture, stating that a school's culture was irrelevant to the consideration of school mergers.

However, Government Minister Steve Maharey, answering Mr Smith's question for an absent Mr Mallard in Parliament today, said that attention should be paid to the culture of schools in the course of the review.

"Mr Mallard and Mr Maharey need to sort out the Government's position for the sake of the parents and children of Upper Hutt.

"Is a school's culture going to be factored into the review, as Mr Maharey states, or not, as Mr Mallard states?" Mr Smith asked.

Ends.

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