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Education leadership in chaos

17 May 2005

Education leadership in chaos

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says school closures could be back on the agenda now that Helen Clark has given Trevor Mallard all responsibilities for education in a desperate attempt to stabilise leadership in the sector.

"Trevor Mallard was removed from the schools portfolio because he became a political liability over school closures and the NCEA debacle.

"He has now resumed the portfolio after David Benson-Pope's dumping.

"Parents should be worried that school closures will be back and that Trevor Mallard does not have the credibility necessary to rebuild public confidence in NCEA.

"It's no wonder Labour is getting desperate.

"The Tertiary Education Commission lost its Chair and Chief Executive last year, and it took 12 and 9 months respectively to replace them.

"NZQA has lost its Chair and Chief Executive, and permanent replacements are unlikely to be found this year.

"Late last year Steve Maharey was removed from tertiary education for incompetence and to protect his reputation as the next Labour leader.

"David Benson-Pope, as a Clark favourite, was on track to replace Trevor Mallard but now his future is under a cloud.

"Fortunately, teachers will continue to teach and children will continue to learn.

"But the answer to the chaos Labour finds itself in, in the education sector is certainly not the discredited minister Trevor Mallard," Mr English says.

ENDS

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