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National agrees to important amendment to education bill

Trevor Mallard
Education Spokesperson
12 December 2010 Media Statement

National finally agrees to important amendment to education Bill

Labour is pleased that an amendment, to education legislation being debated under urgency, will ensure police checks will be carried out of people wanting to work in early childhood centres, has been agreed to by National, education spokesperson Trevor Mallard says.

"I am pleased the National Government has finally seen sense and voted for an amendment, proposed by Labour, to the Education Amendment Bill (No 2) that will mean convicted paedophiles are less likely to be able to work in some early childhood education centres.

“In the past few weeks Education Minister Anne Tolley’s has been put under pressure by Labour to explain her decision to open the way for paedophiles to become staff members at limited- attendance early childhood centres,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Despite defending that legislation over the past few weeks, Anne Tolley and her National Government colleagues have finally seen sense and agreed to an amendment proposed by Labour to fix this legislation.

“However, while the Labour amendment has been agreed to there are other areas of the legislation that remain a concern.

“For example, the Bill has introduced a concept of entry to a state school being an inherited right.

“That is simply wrong and unfair,” Trevor Mallard said. “Locals should be given priority entry to state schools when roll limits are reached.

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“While Labour agrees with some of the changes in relation to private schools, the Government has missed opportunities to improve the law by ignoring some of the Law Commission’s recommendations on private schools. Students in private schools will be left vulnerable to poor teaching and administrative practices as a result.

“ “This Bill represents a lost opportunity. It is promoted by a Minister who seeks glib solutions, and who has consistently put ideology before children during her two disastrous years in charge of the education portfolio.”

ends

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