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Turner urges school to delay student evictions

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

Turner urges school to delay student evictions

More than 45 Auckland Grammar students who face immediate ejection from the school due to false details on initial enrolment applications, are taking the punishment for over-zealous parents and a problematic zoning system, according to United Future education spokesperson Judy Turner.

“This case has again highlighted the ongoing difficulties created by the zoning system, but the timing of this development is particularly hard on the students.

“With the end of the school year fast approaching, I would urge the school to consider allowing the affected students a stay of execution until after their exams.

“Many students have been preparing for the Cambridge International Exams which most state schools do not offer. I think this is an opportunity for Auckland Grammar to show some good will to the children who have been their students over many terms, as they are in no way to blame for the mess.”

Mrs Turner also sympathises with the position of the school, but believes that at this late stage in the year, they should give the affected families notice to start looking for a new school from the start of next year.

“There have been various tinkering with different zoning systems over the years, and there is no perfect way to enable every family definite access to any school they wish to attend, particularly with the special character of some schools – Auckland Grammar included,” Mrs Turner says.

“It is important we get the mix right for parents, and I would support the government in creating a task force to examine the dynamic around parental choice, and looking at the differences in what schools deliver to students.”

“Zoning can create inequality because many parents are not able or cannot afford to move into neighbourhoods in the zone of sought after high schools, however there is no easy solution.

“In this case the parents did wrong, the school accepted them, but it is the students that are made to suffer and that is the most unfortunate aspect,” says Mrs Turner.

ENDS

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