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Schools of Excellence Welcomed

Schools of Excellence Welcomed by Early Childhood Sector

The Early Childhood Council welcomes the National Party's 'Schools of Excellence' consultation document which provides an eagerly awaited opportunity for the education sector and parents to give input into major alternative education policy development.

The document correctly identifies objective assessment, performance­-based pay, teacher training reforms and professional development as being at the heart of the opportunity to improve the quality and status of the teaching profession.

Early Childhood Council's CEO, Sue Thorne, noted, "Whilst the document steers clear of controversy, there remains the fair implication that New Zealand children and teachers are being held back by the entrenched and privileged interests of bureaucrats, state training providers and education unions."

"Parents will welcome the alternative view which highlights school choice as a stimulant to higher quality education and also the opportunity for parents who choose private schools to benefit more from their own taxes. All children deserve to be treated the same."

"The overall essence of the discussion paper is that we need to urgently refocus on raising educational outcomes for children, particularly in literacy and numeracy, rather than peripheral issues such as who owns the school or who provides the teacher training."

Ms Thorne expressed hope, "that this document will generate extensive debate by parents, the education sector and other political parties and will lead to major education reforms which will reverse New Zealand childrens' slide down the OECD ladder."

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