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Crunch time for communities hit by schools review

Hon Bill English MP

National Party Education Spokesman

25 January 2004

Crunch time for communities hit by schools review

Communities up and down the country should be preparing to fight when Trevor Mallard tells them what schools he plans to close as part of his Government's network review, National Party Education spokesman Bill English says.

"These communities will have between only four and six weeks to respond and they should be prepared for a fight," he says.

"The Education Minister has known all along which schools he plans to shut down, and those communities will be hard pressed to change his mind.

"National believes parents and communities should be making these crucial decisions, not the Minister.

Mr English says National is convinced that saving money is the top priority for the network review when improving the delivery of education to our kids should be the priority.

"We'll see good schools forced to close while poorly performing schools stay open. In some cases they will expand.

"Up and down the country communities are justifiably worried that they will lose an asset that is woven into the social fabric of their town or suburb.

"I'm encouraging parents who care about the education that their children are getting to become involved. It's important they make their feelings known to the Minister at public meetings this week.

"Parents in Upper Hutt will be among the first to hear the news at meetings on Tuesday. Our children and our good schools must be protected," Mr English says.

For more information about the network review process visit:

http://www.skools.co.nz/ (Stop Killing Off Our Local Schools)

Ends

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