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Mallard backs down to parent pressure

Hon Bill English
National Education Spokesperson

28th January 2004

Mallard backs down to parent pressure

Trevor Mallard's backdown on school closures in the Hutt Valley shows that schools can be saved if enough pressure is applied by the community, says National's education spokesperson Bill English.

"This is a sobering lesson for schools around the country that Trevor Mallard is trying to close down. Tui Glen principal Jan Miller says that her school was closed because they didn't make enough of a fuss. In contrast, Upper Hutt schools put up a vigorous fight and saved half a dozen schools.

"This Government is scared of parent activism and negative media coverage. They have done their best to reduce the turnout at meetings by initially closing them to the public, and by providing late notice.

"Many parents only learned of the meetings from National's website www.skools.co.nz which is providing a network for threatened schools around the country.

"Trevor Mallard has shown he has no stomach for a fight, particularly if it involves high-decile schools. It is up to schools and communities now to keep the pressure on," said Mr English.

Ends

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