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Report backs need for Labour's changes

Labour
2000 web siteLabour Education Spokesperson Trevor Mallard has welcomed the release of a report today marking ten years since the introduction of the Labour Government's Tomorrow's Schools reforms.

"The New Zealand Council for Educational Research report backs what Labour found during consultation for our schools policy, and I am confident that we have the plans to overcome some of the shortcomings highlighted.

"Overall, the Tomorrow's Schools changes have been a success for New Zealand schools and New Zealand school children.

"But today's report shows that they have not worked for every child and Labour is determined to change that. We want a system which enables every child to reach their potential in education no matter what their family background is.

"There are solutions for many of the problems identified in this report in Labour's education report. For example, we will be pro-active in ensuring hard to staff schools in low income and rural areas can employ qualified experienced teachers.

"Through our policy of abolishing bulk funding, we are freeing up more money to go directly to schools and retaining the flexibility that will allow those schools to use the extra funding for staffing or other resources as they see fit.

"Labour is committed to retaining core non contestable inservice advisory and training services which the report says is the prime source of principals' and teachers' professional development. National plan to abolish that service starting next year.

"We are supportive of national assessment, with regular reporting to parents, but not national testing. The report shows that teachers are using assessment focuses on helping individual children's learning and it is this kind of approach that Labour is interested in supporting," Trevor Mallard said.

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