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Families pay. Again

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

5 March 2006

Families pay. Again

National’s Education spokesman, Bill English, says parents and students are again paying the price for deals stitched up between the teacher unions and the Labour Government.

He is commenting on a survey of principals which shows more than 60% of secondary schools are increasing class sizes or cutting teacher time in order to deal with new requirements to give teachers extra time out of the classroom.

This is the result of negotiations between the PPTA and the Government. The same deal will see schools billed for teachers’ transport and childcare costs for days they are required to go to school during the holidays.

Mr English says Labour has a habit of reaching industrial deals that lock in their union support, without thinking of the practical consequences - in this case, for schools, students and their families.

“Schools’ tight budgets mean that either parents will have to pay or their children will – through a reduction in standards in the classroom.

“Schools have little choice but to raise more money from their communities, increase fees or cut back students’ class time.

“Parents and schools are at the end of their tether. If the Government wants to improve teacher conditions they should pay for it like every other employer,”says Mr English.

Ends

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