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Dunne: UF character education policy picked up

Media Statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 18 August 2005

Dunne delighted UF character education policy picked up

The Education Ministry decision to introduce values to the national curriculum is a complete backing of United Future's character education policy that the party has been promoting for years, its leader Peter Dunne said today.

"This is good for New Zealand children and good for their families. We're absolutely delighted to see that our initiative has been taken up," Mr Dunne said.

"It has been an area that United Future has constantly pushed because it has been such a glaring omission from the national curriculum.

"I'm delighted to see the Education Ministry targeting honesty and respect. And when worked in with tolerance, fairness, social responsibility, we will change the face of New Zealand for the better.

"It is sad but true that these values are not learnt in every home - so it is crucial that they are developed in schools across the country," he said.

"In the end this is about ensuring our children receive an education of substance."

Last year Mr Dunne revealed that since 2000, there had been a 30 percent increase in assaults on staff, a 23 percent rise in sexual misconduct, a 39 percent rise in vandalism and a 43 percent increase in possession of weapons, in New Zealand schools. In 2003, some 23,656 school students were suspended or expelled.

"We can't have our country continue along that path; character education is a massive step in the right direction," he said.

ENDS

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