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Nats' ed policy turns schools into predators

Nats' education policy turns schools into predators and prey

National's education proposals of bulk funding and successful schools gobbling up neighbouring ones is a giant leap backwards, the Green Party says.

"A return to the competitive, market-based model for primary and secondary education will be a disaster for kids in low- and middle-income families," Green Education Spokesperson Metiria Turei said.

"This takeover plan denies local communities the opportunity to have schools in keeping with their own identities. Even more damaging, it sets schools up as competitors geared towards trying to out-do one another rather than working together for the betterment of all New Zealand students.

"Schools in difficulty need support and resources not voracious competitors swooping on them like carrion. A much healthier approach would be trying to work out why a school is failing and giving it the funding and the expertise it needs to succeed on its own terms," Mrs Turei said.

Mrs Turei said New Zealand parents won't have forgotten why bulk funding of teachers' salaries was scrapped in the first place.

"National wants to replace the human resources bureaucracy in the Education Ministry with a human resources bureaucracy at every school up and down New Zealand. This is both spectacularly inefficient and it asks schools to fulfil roles for which they have no expertise."

National and Labour have both failed to ensure that children with special need receive free education, Mrs Turei said.

"The Education Act guarantees all children in New Zealand a free education at primary and secondary school. Yet, some parents of special needs children are asked to pay up to $10,000 a year. This is an indictment on Labour's approach to education, and National's policy does nothing to solve this problem."


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