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Lesley Longstone handed poisoned chalice by the Government

19 December 2012
Immediate Release

Lesley Longstone handed poisoned chalice by the Government

The resignation of Education Secretary Lesley Longstone is yet another indication that the Government must rethink its unpopular education agenda.

NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter says the Government’s education policy is in disarray – not only because it’s unpopular but because it’s just plain wrong.

“I have some sympathy for Ms Longstone who was handed an impossible task by the Government. This was a certainly a poisoned chalice.”

He says the Minister of Education Hekia Parata needs to rethink education and this time focus on retaining and enhancing our quality public education system so that all children get the opportunity to succeed.

“Policies that lead to privatization and inequity have no place in New Zealand’s public education system.

“We’ve been going down the wrong path for several years now – National Standards, league tables, performance pay for teachers and charter schools will have a severely detrimental effect on our education system.

“We now need a complete change in direction and to focus on how we can improve our current system.”

Mr Goulter says he has some sympathy for Lesley Longstone who was brought to New Zealand a year ago to implement the Government’s reforms.

“In the end we must remember that it is the Government that sets the policy, and the Minister of Education now needs to show leadership to resolve the disarray that the Government has created in education.”


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