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ACT Supports APPEL Complaint To SFO

ACT Supports APPEL Complaint To SFO

ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today welcomed the Association of Private Providers of English Language's decision to lodge a complaint to the Serious Fraud Office about potential fraud related to the closure of the Modern Age English language school.

"APPEL has outlined aspects of concern surrounding Modern Age's closure that, it believes, may have arisen through fraud. These concerns are: a potential misuse of funds that should have been in an independent trust account - as required under the Education Act 1989 - and the potential enrolment of students in an course not approved by the NZQA," Miss Coddington said.

"This week I received a letter of reply from Education Minister Trevor Mallard regarding the NZQA's failure to recognise - before it was too late - the dire financial position of Modern Age. His letter raised more questions than it answered. I have submitted a further OIA seeking further information in an effort to get to the bottom of this sorry saga.

"The collapse of Modern Age could have huge implications for our private English language industry. It is worth more than $300 million in export earnings and employs thousands of New Zealanders. The negative publicity surrounding Modern Age's failure could cause enormous damage to the industry.

"I congratulate APPEL for taking this course of action. It is crucial that it sends a strong message that it will not tolerate any bending of the rules. The future well-being of the industry is at stake," Miss Coddington said.

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