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Hit list schools still vulnerable

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

19 December 2005

Hit list schools still vulnerable

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says dozens of schools on a secret Ministry of Education 'hit list' are still vulnerable to closure.

He is commenting on the public release of a list of schools targeted for closure under Labour's network review process.

The school review policy specifies three different events that can trigger a large-scale school review, despite Labour's 'moratorium' on closures:

* Where concerns about educational quality are raised as a result of adverse Education Review Office (ERO) reports.
* Where two or more schools ask to be reviewed with the aim of strengthening the quality of education provided to local students.

* Where schools apply for a change in structure.

Mr English says this means the moratorium is full of holes.

"One school can trigger a review of dozens of schools.

"I am also concerned about the loose way the review papers deal with quality. The statements reportedly made about education in Gore schools in my electorate are just plain wrong.

"School closures throw entire communities into disarray. If the Government wants to continue with its review process it needs objective evidence of problems, not just hearsay and prejudice," says Mr English.


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