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If only Mr English had read a little further…

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Education


25 July 2005 Media Statement
If only Mr English had read a little further…

National's Education spokesman should have read his own press release properly before jumping to conclusions over the government's review of school's operational funding.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard says the government couldn't have been plainer in its rejection of the bulk funding of teacher salaries.

Trevor Mallard notes that even Mr English's press release included the terms of reference of the government's review which plainly states (at section 6 b and 6 c) that teacher workload or teacher staffing issues; and staffing entitlement – are "out of scope".

"Had Mr English stopped for even a moment to check his facts he wouldn't have made such an obvious mistake," said Trevor Mallard.

"The review will look at the core costs to schools. It will look at how well the government resources these costs, and it will look at best practice with regard to key costs. The funding of ICT hardware and support staff are included in this review.

"This review is being undertaken with the direct involvement of the following key school organisations:

The New Zealand School Trustees’ Association (NZSTA);
Secondary Principals’ Association of New Zealand (SPANZ);
The New Zealand Principals’ Federations (NZPF)
The Association of Proprietors of Integrated Schools (APIS)
The Post-Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA)
The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI)
New Zealand Area Schools Association (NZASA)
New Zealand Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools (NZAIMS).

"This contrasts with National's heavy-handed approach to such matters, as exemplified by Bill English when he told his party conference with regard to bulk funding: 'No ifs, no buts, and no fighting in school communities over whether to have it. Everyone is going bulk funding. It’s a political decision. We’re not going to make boards and principals make that decision, the politicians will decide. National has decided and that’s where we’re going.'

"Of course this sort of statement reduces his chances of making any policy change. New Zealand parents want high quality education and encouraging schools to choose teachers with little experience and lower qualifications doesn't help them."

ENDS

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