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PPTA Sings From Mallard’s Songsheet

Hon Bill English National Education Spokesman

19 April 2004

PPTA Sings From Mallard’s Songsheet

The PPTA should focus on the substantial pressures on secondary schooling rather than barking whenever the Labour Government whistles, says National Education spokesman Bill English.

The PPTA president has been reported as warning of more industrial action as a result of changes to education policy when National regains power.

“It would be difficult for the PPTA to take more industrial action than it has under the Labour Government. The next pay round looks likely to be as contentious as the 2002 round, which included lengthy strikes,” says Mr English.

“Labour is losing ground in education as they are taking control away from parents and communities. A campaign of scare-tactics jointly sponsored by Labour and their friends at the PPTA just tells parents that National is right.”

Secondary schools are under pressure from the requirements of the NCEA, more bureaucratic demands from central government and families herded into schools by unfair zoning restrictions.

“PPTA members I talk to are disillusioned by Labour and its bureaucracy, and they way they have used 1970s solutions to deal with the requirements of a new century.

“National supports a less centralised system of dynamic secondary schooling where education professionals are trusted to make the decisions that best suit their schools and communities. We also want to see teaching as a highly regarded profession where good teachers are rewarded,” says Mr English.

“Parents know that the world is just too complicated for people sitting in the Beehive and the PPTA head office to be making all the decisions that affect their kids.

“The PPTA will earn the respect of the wider community by becoming less partisan and more forward looking.

“National and the PPTA will disagree on education policy if only because the PPTA represents the status quo. An incoming National Government will make changes on behalf of parents and students,” says Mr English.


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