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Flagship Of Education Hitting The Rocks

7 December 2004

Government Flagship Of Education Hitting The Rocks Says Independent Schools

"First the NZCER report on secondary schools shows that the Government is failing lower decile parents and their children, now the PISA report confirms that the literacy and numeracy standards of our 15 year olds are slipping by comparison with other nations," says the Executive Director of Independent Schools of New Zealand.

Previously we were in the top performing group for PISA in literacy and numeracy - now we are in the second group.

Education, along with Health, is controlled by the Labour-led Government because that is supposed to give us the best results. We seriously have to question this stance with two reports in less than two weeks telling us we are slipping internationally, and parents of children in low decile secondary schools want their children to be given more challenging and more academic work.

Here is a strong message that it is not the kids who are dumb, and independent schools have been proving that they are not for many years. When parents have the ability to choose the school that best meets their child's needs then the child's performance improves dramatically.

Australia has over 30% of children attending independent schools, and its PISA results are amongst the best for both quality and equity, with below-average impact of socio-economic background on student performance.

Once again we ask the Government to give poor parents choice as well; let their children attend schools that will best suit them and challenge them, and not only will the parents and students be happier but our PISA results will improve.

ENDS


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