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English: pendulum swings away from parents

Hon Bill English

National Education Spokesman

22 September 2004

English: pendulum swings away from parents

National's Education spokesman Bill English says the pendulum has swung too far away from parents when it comes to potential life-changing events in their children's lives. Speaking to the PPTA conference in Wellington today he said that politically correct ideas about privacy and confidentiality had put the welfare of some children at risk.

"When there are significant events affecting a child, and a real risk to their welfare, parents should be involved. "Schools are the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff too often. That's not fair on them, and laws that allow that to happen are sapping parental responsibility by stopping their involvement.

"Parliament has an opportunity to reinforce the responsibilities of parents, to strengthen families and to clarify the law for schools when it addresses clause 37 of the Care of Children Bill in the next few months.

"It's time for a public debate on how the law deals with the role of parents in matters of their children's welfare. "It's time to swing the pendulum back in favour of parents," says Mr English.

ENDS

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