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Labour's education plan more 'promise and hope'

Anne Tolley MP
National Party Education Spokeswoman

4 November 2008

Labour's education plan more 'promise and hope'

Labour's contempt for pupils, parents and teachers has been laid bare in its re-heated education policy, says National's Education spokeswoman, Anne Tolley.

"It is an insult to the education sector, pupils, and parents that Labour thinks it can re-announce what is essentially its Schools Plus policy without anyone noticing.

"Furthermore, the rest of the hastily-drafted policy contains no dollar figures and is short on details. It is, typically, totally uncosted and illustrates Labour's 'promise and hope' approach to the election.

"Labour's pledge to give low-paid support staff a 'pay jolt' is cynical in the extreme. Despite announcing this plan a month ago, Labour has yet to come up with any costings to support it.

"In contrast, National's education policy is fully costed and provides genuine commitments to the education sector. National has already outlined its plan to address the teacher shortage with a voluntary bonding scheme to encourage more of our home-grown, talented teachers to work in hard-to-staff areas.

"In addition, John Key announced at the weekend that National will inject an additional $500 million into school property funding over the next three years to allow for a 21st century school building programme. We've heard nothing from Labour on their plans to boost the school property fund.

"Labour's tired and stale policy also fails to commit to boosting the literacy and numeracy skills of our young people, and makes no mention of any plans to deal with the 30,000 pupils who skip school on any given day.

"It also makes zero commitment to boosting funding for those children with high and very high special needs.

"Labour's policy is a huge disappointment. It is stalled in the past and totally bereft of any vision or creativity. It is symptomatic of a government that, after nine long years, has run out of ideas.

"New Zealand deserves an approach to education that is fresh and focused and delivers our kids the start they need in this 21st century world. Only National is promising that."

ENDS

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