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Clark raises school leaving age

Anne Tolley MP National Party Education Spokeswoman

27 March 2008

Clark raises school leaving age - then decides to consult

It is no wonder that Labour will be remembered for nine years of failures when they release another piece of dictatorial policy only to slam the brakes on with a 'discussion document' just weeks later, says National's Education spokeswoman, Anne Tolley.

"January's announcement by Labour that they would effectively ban all 16-and 17-year-olds from leaving school to get work went down like a lead balloon and it's unsurprising that today they have launched a 'discussion document' on the issue.

"National always said this policy would only encourage truancy, which is already at unprecedented levels, increase classroom disruption as teenagers rebel against being forced to stay, and deny these kids the opportunity to make their way in the world at their own pace.

"This draconian policy is typical of Labour's 'state knows best' approach and on its release was criticised as impractical and lacking detail.

"This eleventh hour attempt to get some much-needed community and sector input into the policy is an admission that it was ill-considered and rushed.

"Labour is so desperate to get re-elected they are rushing out half-baked policy so fast that they are getting speed wobbles.

"This cynical move to belatedly accept consultation is simply an attempt to paper over the policy cracks."


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