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Bennett being mischievous over Sunday schools

9 November 2007 Media Statement

Bennett being mischievous over Sunday schools

The Labour-led government has no intention of closing Sunday schools.

National’s associate education spokesperson Paula Bennett is being misleading and mischievous by claiming Sunday schools risk closure under the Education Act when the same regulations were in place for nine years of a National government, Education Minister Chris Carter says.

“Ms Bennett knows full well that early childhood centre regulations apply not just to Sunday schools but to pools and gyms and her assertion Sunday schools should somehow be exempt because parents are usually “just metres away” is absurd,” Mr Carter said.

“Parents are often ‘just metres away’ in gyms or swimming pools too but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be safe.”

The Minister said it was obviously Ms Bennett was using Sunday schools as an example in an attempt to manipulate public opinion.

“Ms Bennett is familiar with the issues, knows the Ministry of Education is currently conducting a review of early childhood centres regulations as I told her in Parliament this week, but in her hunt for publicity is choosing to spread misleading information,” the Minister said.

The Education Act requires that early childhood centres, for the education of three or more children under six years of age, must either be licensed or be premises of a kind exempt from licensing.

“We are reviewing the regulations and as I told Ms Bennett in the House, we expect new regulations will be implemented next year which will rectify any anomalies,” Chris Carter says.

ENDS

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