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Clark must come clean on Mallard’s future

Don Brash
National Party Leader

5 August 2005

Clark must come clean on Mallard’s future

National Party Leader Don Brash says Helen Clark owes it to parents to divulge, upfront, whether or not she has confidence in Education Minister Trevor Mallard, in light of the latest damning State Services Commission report into the education system.

Two State Services Commission reports on the education sector released in the past two weeks have painted a damning picture of leadership in the sector.

Dr Brash says Helen Clark must also tell parents whether she thinks what is disclosed in those reports is good enough for their children.

“Trevor Mallard has been in charge of the Ministry of Education and its sub-agencies for six years now. Its failures are his failures and parents have every right to know if Helen Clark has confidence in his stewardship of the sector.

“Parents have a right to know whether the standard of education described in those reports is good enough as far as Helen Clark and the Labour Party are concerned.

“In six years Mr Mallard has overseen a widespread and brutal programme of school closures, a multimillion-dollar blow-out on low-value courses in the tertiary sector, the complete breakdown of government education agencies, and an absolute crisis of confidence in the NCEA and scholarship qualifications systems.

“Helen Clark has had every reason and ample opportunity to remove Mr Mallard from this crucial portfolio but has not. It is time for her to come clean and say whether or not she continues to have confidence in Mr Mallard.

“If she does, she is alone in that confidence. Parents do not think the failings in the education system are acceptable and they are looking for some accountability and for a change of leadership,” says Dr Brash.

ENDS

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