National’s Record: Undermining Education
• The Education Review Office stated
last week that students at some schools “have simply been
forgotten amongst the daily business of ‘delivering’
education”.1 National’s record in education is abysmal.
From day one they have gone to war with the education
sector. The result has been a series of distractions,
ill-judged policies and back downs.
• They’ve been distracted by National Standards. The Government is spending $36 million on making National Standards work rather than making changes that will lift student achievement.2
• National promised to improve teacher quality but cut funding for teachers professional development by $15 million per year 3 and are now going down the opposite path by allowing unregistered and unqualified teachers into charter school classrooms.
• National tried to increase class sizes not once but twice. National intended to increase class sizes for new entrants in Budget 2009 as well as trying to increase class sizes in this year’s budget, both efforts resulted in embarrassing back downs.
• National’s U-turn on class sizes has left a $114 million hole in the education budget.4 That will mean less funding for schools, support staff and resources next year.
• While public schools are struggling, National has spent an extra $35 million on subsidies for private schools.5
• National campaigned on getting tough on truancy, but truancy rates haven’t budged, with 29,000 students absent from school without reason each week.6
• Across 2009 and 2010 National halved the budget for Gifted and Talented Education, leaving some of our brightest students without extra support and extension in the classroom.7
1 ‘The three most pressing issues for New Zealand’s education system, revealed in latest ERO report’ Edu¬cation Review Office, 29/08/2012
2 ‘National Standards the key to lifting achievement’ John Key, 23/09/2009
3 ‘Total Professional Development Expenditure’ Hon. Hekia Parata (Tabled in Parliament), 13/06/2012
4 ‘Teacher funding ratios to remain the same’ Hekia Parata, 07/06/12
5 Ministry of Education ‘Budget 2009: Education Initiatives’
6 ‘Attendance in New Zealand schools 2011’ Ministry of Education. Feb 2012, p 7
7 ‘Funds cut for gifted’ Auckland Now, 16/06/2010
Authorised by David Shearer, Parliament