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Tolley wrong as usual

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Education

6 March 2008
Media Statement

Tolley wrong as usual

Anne Tolley might be trying to score a few cheap political points but to pretend one thing when she knows the opposite to be true is contemptible, Education Minister Chris Carter says.

Today in Parliament, Ms Tolley made out that a new contract with a truancy services provider meant students aged 14 years and 9 months or more not enrolled at any school were being abandoned by the system.

“The opposite is true,” Chris Carter said.

“In fact more resources are being devoted to these students and I would be surprised if Ms Tolley didn’t know that.

“These students are often difficult cases to deal with and that is why, far from giving up on them, ten new Ministry of Education staff around the country have been appointed to specifically deal with these students.

“Rather than leaving these cases to a tracking agency, the Ministry has decided to take them “in house” so they can be solved with a greater degree of expertise and resources.”

What that usually means is working with parents and families over a period of time so that these students go back to school and stay there.

Last month Ms Tolley tried the same trick when she misleadingly claimed children who were in the care of CYF or police were not being tracked by truancy services. It didn’t seem to occur to her that the location of students in touch with either of these agencies would already be known, the Minister said.

“It’s not truancy services which are a disgrace but Ms Tolley and her desperate attempt to attract media attention,” Chris Carter said.

ENDS

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