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Peachey challenges Govt over literacy and numeracy

Allan Peachey

National Party Associate Education Spokesman

15 February 2006

Peachey challenges Govt over literacy and numeracy

National Party Associate Education spokesman Allan Peachey says the Government must take responsibility for the 150,000 New Zealand children who cannot read, write or do maths. Speaking in Parliament's debate on the Prime Minister's Statement, Mr Peachey said those young New Zealanders would be denied opportunities because of Labour's failure to address that very real problem.

"We need national graduation standards in reading, writing and maths so everyone knows what we are aiming for and individual students' problems can be identified and solved."

In 2003, the last time statistics were released, only 67% of primary schools participated in a reading recovery programme. Only about half of low decile schools participate.

Mr Peachey says this means the children who most need help with reading aren't getting it.

"If only half of low decile schools use the reading recovery programme, then thousands of five and six-year-olds are missing their last chance to be caught in the safety net.

"This kind of tolerated failure leads to a cycle of low expectations and dependency." During the election campaign, National campaigned to provide reading and maths vouchers for pupils who don't meet targeted standards by the age of seven to ensure they do not miss out.


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