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Education gateway slammed shut for some children

Anne Tolley MP
National Party Education Spokeswoman

15 April 2008

Education gateway slammed shut for some children

National Party Education spokeswoman Anne Tolley says public schools, as the main provider of education to Kiwi kids, have much to gain from National's commitment to provide education entitlements to all children.

"It is elitist nonsense to say that because a child goes to an independent school, the state should abandon its responsibility to them. National is committed to offering more choices to parents and children - and providing more opportunities through both the public and independent systems.

"National's formal education policy will be released closer to the election, and yes, it will contain a move towards greater funding for independent schools - but that will not come at the expense of funding for public schools. National sees education as the gateway to opportunity, and we will make sure many more children can take advantage of the opportunities that training and education bring.

“National simply does not accept that the present education system is universally delivering the best results for all children. We have a situation where one in five children emerge from the system without being able to adequately read and write. If this is as good as it gets then we should all be very worried indeed.

"For instance, National does not accept that forcing all children to stay at school until they are 18 is the right answer, which is why we have offered a youth guarantee to all students who complete training to gain a school level qualification – and consistent with our philosophy of fair treatment, we do not dictate which training provider they choose.

“Many parents make heavy sacrifices to put their children into an independent school, and it is simply not fair that Labour says those children do not deserve any public help at all.

“Parents want educational choices, and children deserve educational diversity with formal qualifications that meet high standards. National will put children at the centre of our education policy - not some old fashioned ideology.”


ENDS

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