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Labour: Information on schools ok if it's useless

Hon Bill English - National Party Education Spokesman

21 February 2006

Labour: Information on schools ok if it's useless

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says the Labour Government is so worried about parents comparing schools that they want to stop parents using even publicly available information to make their decisions.

"In response to questions in Parliament today, the acting Minister of Education acknowledged that information about schools on the School Smart website is publicly available.

"Despite this fact, he could not explain why his Government insisted on preventing parents from accessing the information on the website."

The School Smart website is run by the Ministry of Education which collects and compares up to 20 indicators from schools, including numbers of suspensions, operating deficits, roll decline and student achievement.

"The Labour Government clearly thinks that though it's okay to make public random bits of information about schools, it would be dangerous for them to be able to access all the information in one place - and use it to compare schools," says Mr English.

"The acting Minister acknowledged that parents are competent enough to choose a school for their children but he couldn't explain why parents should be deprived of all the facts they need to make informed decisions."


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