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Schools Close, Despite Excellent ERO Reports

Schools Close, Despite Excellent ERO Reports

Wednesday 28 Jan 2004
Deborah Coddington
Press Releases -- Education

ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today slammed Education Minister Trevor Mallard's decision to close five Upper Hutt and Stokes Valley schools, describing the latest round of closures a disgrace.

"Mr Mallard's decision - announced last night - is disgraceful. Without exception, these schools have recently received excellent Education Review Office reports - not that it makes one iota of difference to this cold-hearted Minister," Miss Coddington said.

"The closure of these academically successful schools - at the same time that failing schools remain open - doesn't make any sense. The communities served by these schools have every right to feel angry.

"Cost cutting appears to be the only explanation for this recent cull. The wishes of parents, students, teachers and boards of trustees don't seem to factor into the Minister's equation.

"By sucking money from provincial New Zealand, to pour into new Auckland schools, Mr Mallard is robbing Peter to pay Paul - and leaving Peter with fewer options for his children's education.

"What is truly frightening is that these closures are merely the tip of the iceberg - Labour plans to close over 300 schools in the next seven years. Sanity must prevail - the Minister should end the network review process before it's too late, and decent schools vanish forever" Miss Coddington said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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