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Labour moves to shut down NCEA debate

Hon Bill English - National Party Education Spokesman

15 February 2005

Labour moves to shut down NCEA debate

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says the inquiry into the NCEA scholarship debacle is nothing more than an attempt to keep everyone quiet and get the issue out of the public eye.

"Students and parents can have no confidence that the Labour-appointed review group will get to the bottom of last year's scholarship shambles, let alone fix it in time for the exams this year.

"There are no experts on assessment and exam systems in the group. It is a collection of political representatives of education sector groups."

The group, announced today, has a very similar membership to the already existing Secondary Principals Leaders Forum.

"This group has been advising the Minister for years. Last year, members of the group raised serious concerns about scholarship exams and the Minister chose to ignore them," says Mr English.

"Schools principals and education sector groups have already been told that they cannot make further comment while the review is taking place. It won't work. The Minister might be able to gag sector groups but he can't gag parents and the students who are the victims of his botched system.

"This review is a politically motivated, politically appointed attempt to make the issue go away.

"If Labour was serious about this review, they would appoint experts in assessment who are capable of overhauling the way the NZQA handles scholarships," says Mr English.

ENDS

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