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Prayers in school: parent power beats Labour

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

4 September 2006

Prayers in school: parent power beats Labour

National Party Education spokesman Bill English says parent power forced the Labour Government to back down on its "loopy" proposal for guidelines on religious instruction in schools.

"But I am concerned that it took such ridicule from parents and the involvement of Anglican Bishops and the Opposition Education spokesman to inject some commonsense into the Ministry of Education.

"A guideline that makes it against the rules for children to sing 'How Great Thou Art' at school but says it's okay to sing 'Whakaaria Mai', its Maori translation, defies commonsense.

"The guideline was not a solution to a problem because there was no problem in the first place.

"The only thing this experience has shown is just how out of touch with parents this Labour Government is.

"The members of the school community who make up boards of trustees will always be in a better position to decide what's best for their students than will the Minister and his bureaucrats in Wellington," says Mr English.

ENDS

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