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Parents first, not bureaucrats

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

20 March 2006

Parents first, not bureaucrats

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says it's typical of Labour to consider spending millions on a database for bureaucrats to monitor children's progress while refusing parents access to relevant information which is already on hand.

"Parents are the biggest influence in their children's lives. Parents won't take as much of an interest if it's too difficult to find out about their child and their child's school.

"The irony is that the Government already has this information, it just won't share it with parents."

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.

Mr English says parents should have access to this information so they can make informed choices for their children.

"Before the Government spends a single dollar on a super-database so that social agencies can track children, they should make the information they already have available to parents so they can use it to make informed choices for their children."

ENDS


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