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Treasury catches the Government out again

Chris Hipkins
State Services Spokesperson
Associate Education Spokesperson

2 February 2012

Treasury catches the Government out again

The Treasury has caught the Government out once again with its briefing paper revealing that National is considering plans to increase class sizes, says Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.

“The slip has occurred despite Education Minister Hekia Parata trying to hide the Government’s intention by removing the only mention of the ill-considered strategy from the Education Ministry’s briefing papers,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Sources have told me that the Ministry’s briefing actually said: ‘Managing cost pressures in coming years will require changes to system settings and formulas which drive the resourcing of schools, including consideration of teacher-to-student ratios.’

“This sentence has been withheld in the briefing released today,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Hekia Parata obviously didn’t want New Zealanders to know of the National-led Government’s plans to make class sizes bigger, and was counting on the Treasury removing this advice.

“It’s alarming to see the Ministry suggesting further funding cuts could be accommodated by making class sizes bigger. They code this by talking about ‘consideration of teacher-to-student ratios’ but it can only mean one thing – more kids in each class.

“Cheaper might be better when it comes to buying pens and papers, but our children’s future should not be at the mercy of the distorted priorities of this short-sighted government, which wants to cut budgets no matter what the real long-term cost,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The idea that cheaper equals better-quality education is simply bizarre and doesn’t make sense.”

ENDS

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