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Correspondence School CEO should go - Greens

15 December 2005

Correspondence School CEO should go - Greens

Correspondence School Chief Executive Debbie Francis should take the hint - teachers and parents have roundly rejected her and she should go, Green Party Education Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

The school's teachers say it is not delivering for many of its 20,000 students and are calling for an inquiry and the resignations of the school's Board and Chief Executive.

"Ms Francis needs to recognise that railroading the core stakeholders is not good management," Mrs Turei says.

"The Chief Executive has lost the confidence of her staff and parents because she has failed to address the real needs of Correspondence School children.

"The inference by the Chief Executive that staff are wasting public money is disgusting. These teachers are completely committed to the children they work for and such an allegation is cruel and unfair.

"At the minimum, staff and parents should be represented on the Board to make sure that they have a say in the management of the school. They are the ones who understand best what is needed.

"During the whole restructuring process the staff had provided options for reducing costs without radically reorientating the Correspondence School away from its core traditional students. The Chief Executive and the Board ignored this reasonable advice. Now, despite the best efforts of the staff, the service is failing those children for whom it was designed.

"The new Education Minister, Steve Maharey, must not ignore the Correspondence School. City schools are using it as a dumping ground for kids that should be directed into alternative education centres. But because the Government doesn't properly support such facilities, these kids are falling into a huge hole.

"City kids, left to struggle through long-distance learning without support, are not receiving the education they need to succeed. Rural children who are able to use the service well aren't getting regular visits, so their right to a quality public education is also undermined," Mrs Turei says.

ENDS

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