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A claim that Tomorrows Schools has increased the divide between poor and wealthy schools. It comes from an American professor who is a former head of education at Massey University. He says while Tomorrows Schools has been successful in leading to greater community involvement in education, its promotion of the market ethos has been a failure. He says schools now have to raise more funds themselves and this places added hardship on those in low socio-economic areas.

Parents are being asked to act quickly if they suspect their children to have hooping cough. ninety cases of the notifiable disease have been confirmed in Southland, and health officials fear it may spread nationwide. So far there have been a few children admitted to Auckland Hospital with hooping cough complaints, but a Middlemore Hospital spokesperson says parents need to be vigilant. Children showing signs of hooping cough should be sent to the doctor immediately.

Claims firefighters are breaking ranks signing new Fire Service contracts. A small number of Auckland fire fighters are expected to sign up today. The contract is based around a re-structuring of the service, which would see the jobs of 400 fire fighters go. Union secretary Derrick Best says those people are not interesting in safety issues, and are the same people who lead the charge in taking the Fire Service backwards.

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