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Report indictment of Mallard's leadership

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

9 May 2005

Report indictment of Mallard's leadership

National Party Education spokesman Bill English says a report reviewing last year's scholarship shambles slams the leadership of the Ministry of Education which is the clear responsibility of Trevor Mallard.

"The report by the State Services Commission, released last week, shows that the Ministry is failing at its most basic functions.

"This Ministry has been complacent for a long time and it's Trevor Mallard that let it operate in a leadership vacuum and failed to hold it to account."

Criticisms of the Ministry of Education in the State Services Commission's report include:

* Failure to provide NZQA with a clear policy for Scholarship. This meant NZQA was provided with no clear expectations around its performance. (Para 57)

* Failure to provide the leadership required to ensure that the new approach to Scholarship worked for New Zealanders. (Para 101) It was, and is, up to the Ministry to provide active leadership to help co-ordinate and integrate the sector. (Para 35)

* The leaders at the Ministry did not ensure that difficult issues surrounding scholarship were dealt with appropriately. (Para 53)

* Failure to reach a common understanding with NZQA about what Scholarship involved. (Para 62)

"Trevor Mallard has been in charge of the Ministry of Education for six years - its failures are his failures and it's time he took some responsibility for them," says Mr English.

"Graeme Fraser has gone, Karen van Royen is all but out the door and Howard Fancy is in the firing line too yet the Minister responsible for all of them is sitting tight. It's time for him to stop pointing the finger at his officials and relinquish his responsibility as Minister of Education."

ENDS

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