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PM urged to see impact of school closures


Greens urge Clark to see impact of school closures first hand

Green Co-Leader Rod Donald is urging the Prime Minister to take the opportunity offered by her visit to Mosgiel to discover for herself just how harmful school closures have been for local community.

Helen Clark is opening Taieri College, a merger of the former Taieri and Mosgiel High Schools, at 1.15pm tomorrow, 18 March. The government closed eight of the 15 schools in the Mosgiel-Taieri area at the end of last year despite strong local opposition.

"I hope Helen Clark talks with the teachers and principals from the schools Trevor Mallard closed down. She will then find out first hand what they think of her Minister's school review process," said Mr Donald.

"The Prime Minister's visit to Mosgiel is timely. I hope she learns some lessons from the experiences that this community has been put through before she lets Trevor Mallard close the 71 schools that are currently under threat around the country.

"It would be good if the Prime Minister could also visit the sites of some of the closed schools, such as Reid Park, Melville Park and Allanton, to appreciate how central they were to their local communities. "While teachers are getting on with the job of making the remaining schools work and students are adjusting to the change, the overwhelming feedback I have received is that the review process was destructive and that the outcome has been far from ideal.

"Everyone in Mosgiel acknowledges that some rationalisation was needed, the bottom line is that more schools were closed than should have been. It's no consolation to this community that the government has admitted its mistakes by introducing a moratorium on future reviews," said Mr Donald.

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