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Vulnerable Students Are National’s Latest Target

Tracey Martin MP
Spokesperson for Education
1 November 2012

Vulnerable Students Are National’s Latest Target

New Zealand First has accused the Government of treating special needs children and their parents in a way that borders on cruelty by closing McKenzie Residential School in Christchurch and Salisbury Residential School in Nelson.

Education spokesperson Tracey Martin says the educational needs of the students are very different from the majority of mainstream students but they still deserve the chance to be the best they can be.

“Recently I met the Education Minister Hekia Parata who acknowledged that special needs units based inside mainstream schools or in clusters of schools are the best of both worlds for all our students.”

“However, this is not what is being offered to these students and they will be dumped in a local school without the level of support they need.

“The schools already trying to provide this level of education to current mainstream special needs students will tell you the Government’s waffle about so-called ‘wrap around’ services is close to a joke – but not for those affected.

“At the expense of children who need so much extra support here we have another example of the government’s consultation method, which is make a decision first and then go through the motions.

"This decision borders on cruelty to both these students and their families and is really short sighted cost cutting that will cost the country more money in the long run," says Ms Martin.


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