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Labour’s Education plan – for the future

Hon Chris Carter
Education Spokesperson

4 November 2008 Media Statement
Labour’s Education plan – for the future

Labour’s Education Minister Chris Carter says Schools Plus forms the basis of Labour’s Education policy, released today, and that it also includes good news for small rural schools.

Labour’s plan for the future of New Zealand education shows a firm commitment to rolling-out Schools Plus; ensuring that small sole charge rural schools have a minimum of two teachers; addressing issues of low-pay among school support staff; continuing to increase operational grants for all state and state-integrated schools; and increasing investment in special education.

“New Zealand has an education system that ranks among the best in the developed world. The last nine years has given us a great deal to be proud of, but there are still challenges ahead and Labour has a plan to meet those challenges head-on,” said Chris Carter.

“The challenge for our compulsory schooling system is to build on our success to date so that students at all levels learn in a modern, relevant and personalised education system that gives them the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.”

Schools Plus is Labour’s flagship policy for the future of secondary education in this country. The policy will significantly reform our secondary school system, offering all young New Zealanders a stronger educational foundation. Labour has committed to fully funding Schools Plus at an estimated cost of $170m per year.

Small rural schools are set to benefit from Labour’s adjustment of existing staffing rules to ensure that all schools have a minimum of two full-time teaching staff. There are currently 98 schools around New Zealand operating with fewer than two full-time equivalent teaching positions.

Support staff that work alongside teachers are essential to making our schools function effectively. Low paid support staff will be receiving a 'pay jolt' under Labour.

Schools operations grants have increased by 37 per cent since 1999 and Labour is making a further commitment to continued increases in schools’ operational funding.

Labour will improve the provision of Special Education support by increasing the resources invested in special education funds for children with moderate to high needs.

“Every New Zealander knows the importance of investing in our young people. Labour shares those values and has a report card that any mum and dad would be proud of,” said Chris Carter.



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