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Labour supports schools as community hubs

Chris HIPKINS

Education Spokesperson
 
26 January 2014                                                         

MEDIA STATEMENT

Labour supports schools as community hubs

Schools can and should play a greater role as hubs for the provision of a wider range of social services to families, and the Labour Party is broadly very supportive of the proposals announced by the Green Party today, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

"Many schools already play a vital role in connecting families with a range of social services, including health, counselling, parenting programmes, and so forth. But they're not well supported in that work and addressing that is a priority for the Labour Party too.

"Our 2011 election manifesto made it clear that Labour will expand the role of schools and early childhood services as community hubs, and we remain committed to that.

"The lives that children live outside the school gate have a big impact on their readiness to learn and their achievement in school. Unlike John Key and the National Party, we're not willing to turn a blind eye to that.

"Labour has long been committed to expanding access to quality early childhood education. Building new early childhood centres on existing school sites makes a lot of sense.

"Making sure kids don't have to face the school day with empty tummies is something we are fully committed to, and my colleague David Shearer already has a Members Bill in train that will address that issue.

"While there will naturally be discussion about respective priorities and timing, today's announcements by the Green Party are a welcome addition to the education policy debate and provide a clear marker of the types of initiatives we can work closely together on," Chris Hipkins said.

ENDS

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