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Schools with zones increase by almost 50%

26 October 2004

Hon Bill English - National Education Spokesman

Schools with zones increase by almost 50%

Trevor Mallard must think parents are stupid if he expects them to swallow his claim that Labour's zoning regulations are increasing parental choice in education, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

He is responding to a claim made by the Education Minister yesterday that the number of schools with enrolment schemes is dropping.

"But parents know Labour's zoning laws have reduced choice in education," says Mr English.

"Answers to written questions show that the number of schools with zones has steadily increased since the new zoning laws came into play, from 320 in 2000 to 474 this year - an increase of almost 50%.

"This means that over one third of all students now attend a school with an enrolment scheme.

"Labour's rigid restrictions mean successful schools are not allowed to expand until every classroom in the local area is full. This means the worst-performing schools set the pace.

"Parents are in a much better position than the Minister of Education to know what's best for their children - they want to choose what school their children attend," says Mr English.

ENDS

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