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Key's toothless guarantee

19 September 2008 Media Statement
Key's toothless guarantee

National’s cynical attack on Labour’s Schools Plus policy will lack credibility with education and training stakeholders, says Education Minister Chris Carter.

Schools Plus, announced today by the Prime Minister, is being welcomed by educationalists, business, unions, social service agencies and young people.

It is the product of over eighteen months work and will build on successful programmes already proving their worth in schools around New Zealand.

“National’s hollow policies cannot be compared to Schools Plus. It does nothing to encourage those students not currently engaged in learning. Nor does it contain any detailed planning or commitment to real resourcing to address education underachievement.

“Labour is not prepared to give up on these young people and just throw them into boot camps or make shallow promises which are strong in rhetoric and sadly lacking in detail,” said Chris Carter.

“National’s ‘policy’ is nothing more than a party slogan dreamed up by John Key at election time to try and tap into genuine public concerns about some young New Zealanders becoming disengaged from education.

"To suggest, as John Key has done, that today’s announcement is somehow a watered down version of the Prime Minister’s January announcement of Schools Plus is ridiculous. Today’s announcement builds more detail on the innovative concepts outlined by Helen Clark in Henderson at the beginning of this year.

"Schools Plus is about developing personalised learning plans for every student. This will ensure that all students are given the opportunity to reach their potential, their progress monitored and no-one being left behind.

“We know from research that secondary education has to change and become more relevant to young people so that they can succeed in the 21st Century. This government has today committed to giving schools new tools and resources that will allow their students to become passionate about education in a field that is of interest to them.

"Today’s announcement provides a real opportunity. It is well-resourced, well-consulted and appears to be well-received by education stakeholders. This government has already demonstrated its commitment to education by doubling resourcing for education over nine years.

"Resourcing for Schools Plus is a commitment by the government to address underachievement in our secondary schools.

"The funding announcement and specific programmes outlined by the Prime Minister today contrast with the empty rhetoric offered by John Key,” said Chris Carter.

ends

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