Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Adding new rungs to the ladder of opportunity

John Key MP National Party Leader

2 November 2008

Adding new rungs to the ladder of opportunity

"I am determined to ensure our school system helps every New Zealand child to climb the ladder of opportunity," says National Party Leader John Key in releasing his party's schools policy during a rally at Upper Hutt College.

"Our country can be proud to have some of the world's best teachers, schools, and pupils. But there is a tail of pupils, around one in five, who are slipping behind and who leave school without the qualifications and skills they need to succeed.

"Raising education standards will be a driving goal for a National-led Government.

"This priority is demonstrated by our commitment to increase education funding over the next three years."

Mr Key confirmed National's plans to make an additional allocation of $1.5 billion in the next Budget for new education operational spending over the next four years and to allocate $500 million in additional capital spending to boost National's 21st Century school building programme over the next three years.

"Under Labour too much education funding and control is tied up in the Ministry of Education and other education bureaucracies.

"National will focus on the front line. We will increase funding for schools and rein in the form-filling and bureaucracy currently smothering schools and teachers.

"We will ensure parents have more information about how their child and school are doing, and have more of a say about how they are educated.

"National will further increase families' education choices by expanding some popular schools, making zoning more flexible, introducing a Youth Guarantee, and improving special education options.

"This policy confirms National's commitment to keeping and improving the NCEA qualifications system.

"Labour has been too slow to fix the NCEA and has ignored the concerns of many thousands of pupils, teachers, and parents. A National Government will listen and we will act."

Mr Key confirmed today that National will slowly increase funding for independent schools, adding an extra $10 million to their annual funding in next year's Budget.

"The cap on independent school funding has pushed up fees and made these schools increasingly elitist. This increase in funding will help make independent schools more affordable for many struggling parents.

"This amounts to no more than 2% of the additional funding National will allocate to education in next year's Budget. I am absolutely committed to the public education system and this policy reflects that commitment."

Other features of National's policy include: * A commitment to a 21st Century School Building Programme. * A $19 million funding allocation for the introduction of a voluntary bonding scheme for teachers in hard-to-staff areas and subjects, details of which will be worked through with the sector. *

Expanding the Te Kotahitanga professional development programme.

"The initiatives I'm announcing today also need to be considered alongside our clear plans for a Youth Guarantee, our crusade on literacy and numeracy, our plan to boost trade training in schools, and our focus on raising educational standards.

"I consider education is a ladder to opportunity. I will ensure Kiwi kids are fit for the climb."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Not Easy: Gordon Campbell On The Greens’ Ongoing Problems

Hard to treat the Greens’ belated decision to stand a candidate in Ohariu as being anything other than a desperation move, by a party whose own leadership is evidently concerned about its chances of survival...

A few months ago, the Greens felt able to forego that role in Ohariu in order to help a beleaguered Labour Party get its candidate Greg O’Connor across the line, and knock Peter Dunne out of the parliamentary frame. More>>


Closing The Gap: Ardern Rules Out Income Tax Rise

After earlier commitments by Jacinda Ardern to do something about inequality and poverty, this new position on income tax seems an about face. To do something significant about inequality requires increases in income for those at the bottom and decreases for those at the top... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need... More>>

Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election