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Reviews cut a swathe through education

Hon Bill English MP

National Education Spokesperson
10th February 2004

Reviews cut a swathe through education

71 schools will close this year as a result of Labour's Network Reviews, says National's education spokesman Bill English.

Labours review of 164 schools throughout the country finished in Northland last night, with 43% of threatened schools to close.

"Most of these are successful well-supported schools who deserve a better return for their sincere efforts.

"The reviews have cut a swathe through rural and provincial areas, putting an end to the intimate education enjoyed by so many New Zealand families.

"Falling rolls present the opportunity for more choice, smaller classes and better performance for underachievers. But as a result of these reviews 71 schools will never get that opportunity, and more schools will have larger rolls, bigger classes and less pressure to perform.

"School closures have been going on at a low level for years, and further change was necessary. However, these large-scale reviews are something completely different. It is part of Labour's plan to take central control of schools, and reduce parent choice," said Mr English.

Ends

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