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Well done, Mr Key

2 Nov 2007

Well done, Mr Key

PPTA president Robin Duff has congratulated National Party leader John Key for standing up to ideologically driven ministry officials who refuse to listen to parents and teachers' concerns about splitting secondary education.

Mr Key told parents at a meeting last night to discuss the botch-up over the site for the Albany Senior High School that the best solution was for students to stay on at the junior school, but that this was fundamentally opposed by the Ministry of Education.

"PPTA welcomes Mr Key's support for the teachers, parents and students in Albany who will suffer because of the Ministry's ideological commitment to an unproven middle schooling structure," Mr Duff said.

"All changes of school structure set back learning to some extent, but to subject students at year 11 to a completely new learning environment in their first year of NCEA national examinations is extremely risky."

"In the absence of an alternative site for the senior school, the Ministry should investigate turning the junior high school into a year 7-13 secondary school.

"This would certainly be better for students than any of the alternatives currently on offer, as a warehouse or stadium is hardly conducive to offering students appropriate specialist education, particularly science and technology subjects."

"The Albany situation clearly highlights the dangers of not considering secondary schooling holistically. The Ministry has apparently forgotten that secondary schooling goes to year 13," Mr Duff said.

"Instead, it has imposed a policy with unproven educational benefits and clear disadvantages in the face of widespread community opposition.

"The fate of the Albany Senior High School site is a stark lesson for other areas facing a junior and senior school split for secondary schooling. The Ministry is continuing to drive ahead with developing split junior and senior school structures in places such as Flatbush and the Hutt Valley. It's time for the Government to rein in its officials and review its entire rationale for middle schooling."

ENDS

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