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Ogilvy welcomes contribution to education debate

Ogilvy welcomes contribution to education debate

The Education Forum's latest publication is a "worthwhile contribution" to the debate on how schools can be run to the benefit of children, parents and teachers, United Future's Bernie Ogilvy said today.

"It's healthy to see these issues being debated, and I particularly agree with the message of this report - and that of the Independent Schools last month - that although the State should be the arbiter of standards, it doesn't always have to be the provider of education," Mr Ogilvy, United Future's education spokesman, said.

A New Deal: Making Education Work for all New Zealanders, released today, would certainly spark healthy debate, he said.

However, in greeting the report, Mr Ogilvy challenged National and Act to say how their policies would ensure that students would not be 'ghettoised' into "schools of last resort" if they missed out on those perceived to perform better.

United Future is also encouraged by the report's suggestion that teachers should be rewarded on the basis of performance rather than length of service, he said.

"New Zealand schools have many wonderful teachers, but we face a crisis in the profession when even substantial salary increases are unable to attract new teachers, especially men.

"Should we be surprised when salary increments tick over annually like kilometres on an odometer?

"The way to raise the standing of teaching as a profession to aspire to is to treat it as such - move towards a system that rewards the initiative and dedication so many teachers inject into their classes and extra-curricular duties."

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