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Tolley doesn’t care about Aorangi closure

25 November 2009
Media Statement

Tolley doesn’t care about effects of Aorangi closure

Labour's Lianne Dalziel says she is appalled to discover that Education Minister Anne Tolley publicly announced confirmation of her final decision to close Aorangi School without telling teachers and parents so that she could put her reasons in the public arena before the school could respond.

"Her high-handed attitude to Aorangi has been evident ever since she decided to ask the Education Ministry to begin exploring its closure ten months ago without telling the school that this was what she was doing," Lianne Dalziel said

"Today's responses to my questions in Parliament just confirmed the hypocrisy of her pretence at having an open mind, when she clearly made up her mind months ago.

"She was more concerned about getting her story in the media than about the blow that would be dealt to families and teachers hearing the news on the radio before receiving the message officially from the school.”

Lianne Dalziel said that Ms Tolley’s callousness in relation to Aorangi School was compounded by her cynical statement yesterday that there were four schools within a 1.5km radius of Aorangi School.

“Ms Tolley knows full well that two of those schools have enrolment schemes that exclude virtually all the Aorangi students.

"Her statement was deliberately misleading as it made it look as if there were more options for the Aorangi children than there actually are.

“Her response today was to signal that the two enrolment schemes affecting Waimairi School (Decile 9) and Fendalton School (Decile 10) would be adjusted to allow Aorangi School students to be catered for,” Lianne Dalziel said.

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“However given the extensive consultation processes required to amend an enrolment scheme and the three months’ notice that has to be given after the new boundaries are agreed, nothing can happen before parents need to make decisions about where to enrol these children for next year.

"The Minister was trying to cover up for her misleading statements without working through the legal ramifications for two schools she indicated today didn't even know will be expected to change their enrolment zones.”

ENDS

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