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Mallard sneaks in more school closures

Hon Bill English MP

National Education Spokesperson

2nd February 2004

Mallard sneaks in more school closures

Another 23 schools in the North Island have been axed by Trevor Mallard, says National's education spokesman Bill English.

"Late on Friday Trevor Mallard announced his plans to close schools in Wairoa, Matakaoa, Okato, South Egmont and Taihape. Other schools in those areas will now be forced to undergo mergers and the associated disruption to their staff, pupils and learning environments.

"The schools that Trevor Mallard is shutting often have strong community support, good ERO reports and are led by committed boards, teachers and parents. They offer parents choices in schooling provision, something this Government seems determined to undermine.

"Recent educational research shows the relationship between children, parents and schools as a critical part of successful learning, especially for children who find it hard to achieve.

"Not only are these closures devastating local communities, they are actually costing the taxpayer more money - $15 million in school property spending.

"Trevor Mallard's dodgy claims of saving money do not justify the destruction of schools whose small size and unique character allows for quality education choices.

"Labour's revamp of the school network review has left thousands of parents angry. The Government would be wise not to mistake parents sullen acceptance as support for these closures," said Mr English.


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