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Mallard Owes Parents An Apology

Mallard Owes Parents An Apology

Wednesday 21 Aug 2002

Education Minister Trevor Mallard should continue the Labour Government's noble tradition of apologising and beg forgiveness from children for his complete stuff-up of nearly two years of their education, ACT New Zealand Associate Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"The end of the drawn-out teacher's pay dispute is welcome, but does not fix the underlying rotten system.

"For world-class education in New Zealand, we must pay our good teachers more. But this cannot happen under the national award structure.

"The salary scale is largely one-size-fits-all, and the very limited performance pay is dictated by bureaucrats in Wellington, rather than individual communities.

"The centralised system of funding results in good teachers being paid too little and poor teachers paid too much.

"This does nothing to attract good teachers to tough schools, or high achievers into the profession.

"More importantly, this relic of the past fails to acknowledge teaching as a profession. Accountants, lawyers, architects, doctors and much of the state sector have pay systems which recognise their professionalism but teachers - with their national pay awards - are still treated like government department employees from 1962.

"Mr Mallard must admit he was wrong to stop bulk funding and give back Government schools the right to flexibility with their teaching arrangements," Miss Coddington said.

Ends

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