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Labour makes no apology for listening

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Education

27 March 2008 Media Statement

Labour makes no apology for listening

National’s education spokesperson Anne Tolley needs to try and keep up with developments in the education sector or she risks being left to have a debate with herself, says Education Minister Chris Carter.

Today’s release of the Schools Plus discussion document was clearly signalled almost three months ago when the Labour-led government announced the policy.

“However it seems Ms Tolley wasn’t paying attention and is now saying the consultation process has come as a surprise to her,” Chris Carter said.

“The only ill-considered and rushed thing about today’s discussion document launch is Ms Tolley’s silly attempt to misrepresent what the government is doing to make sure that all our young people have the ability to reach their full potential.”

Chris Carter said the Labour-led government wants to hear from the people who will implement this forward-thinking policy because they are the ones who will help ensure its success.

The National Party was bound to try and spin Schools Plus as a raising of the school leaving age when in fact it will give students greater flexibility and a wider range of options.

Ms Tolley is clearly attacking the policy and she therefore opposes:
- all young people being assisted to develop a personal education plan;
- students being able to connect what they’re doing at school to what they want to do as a career;
- connecting all students who leave school to high-quality training and education that suits their needs and abilities;
- ensuring that all under 18-year-olds in full-time work participate in further training or education, and
- supporting non-government organisations, families, whanau, iwi and communities to provide services which support young people to achieve in education or training.

“Schools Plus is now open for consultation and I encourage everyone, secondary school sector, tertiary educators and training providers, ITOs and employers, NGOs, parents, whanau, communities and young people, to have their say.”

“The Labour-led government is a government that listens and I make no apology for that,” Chris Carter said.


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