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Minister disregards parents of 20,000

Hon Bill English

National Education Spokesman

6 July 2004

Minister disregards parents of 20,000

A move by Trevor Mallard to ban parents from moves to restructure New Zealand's biggest school is another example of Labour's anti-parent policies, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

The Education Minister has appointed a seven-person board to oversee the restructuring of the Correspondence School, which will likely see $10 million cut from the budget.

"The Minister made this decision without even telling the board's recently elected parent representatives that they weren't required.

"Only an anti-parent Government would consider restructuring a school of 20,000 without the involvement of their parents.

"Parents are an integral part of a child's education through the Correspondence School, where much of the job normally carried out by teachers is left to parents. Surely parents are in the best position to see what is and isn't working for their kids.

"Time and again this Government has told parents that Wellington knows best. National says that's not good enough.

"Trevor Mallard seems to see parents as the biggest obstacle to Government control of the education system but if he wants this restructure to be successful, he must include significant parental representation on the new board.

"Only an out-of-touch Minister, like Mr Mallard, would try to over-ride parents' views and interests," says Mr English.

ENDS

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