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Report backs call for choice in education

Report backs call for choice in education

A New Zealand Council of Educational Research report shows that parents in low-decile areas are frustrated by the lack of choice when it comes to their children’s education, says National’s Education spokesman, Bill English.

The report (The National Survey of Secondary Schools 2003) shows ‘very different learning experiences for students in schools of different deciles’.

It also finds that parents of children at low-decile schools are more likely to say their children ‘have not been able to attend their school of first choice’.

Mr English says the decile system is a lousy branding exercise which equates low-decile with low expectation.

“For low-decile schools that do well there is no recognition. For those who fail there is an excuse. This is not the kind of mentality we should be instilling in our children,” he says.

“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, to the detriment of all children in the area.

“Parents of children at low-decile schools are no different to other parents. They know that rigid zoning restrictions mean those low-decile schools that aren’t performing don’t have to lift their game and they know their children will miss out but they can’t do anything about it.

“The current zoning policy is unsustainable and National will support parents in all sorts of schools, all around the country, who want choice in education,” says Mr English.

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