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Forget boot camp, fix failing schools

Forget boot camp, fix failing schools

Shipping 50 problem kids to Waiouru is a weak response to a youth crime epidemic, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“In successive media appearances today, Bill English failed to provide evidence on how National’s boot camp policy will prevent youth offending. Has anyone even asked the army if they’re equipped for the task? They’ve already got a job to do, and it’s not babysitting.

“It’s more of a slogan than a policy, intended to fix the polls rather than the problem. I’ve seen the polls on youth crime. New Zealanders are rightly angry about this epidemic, but they realise the problem is far bigger than the 50 kids National would target.

“We must address the issue via the education system, before the offending actually happens.

“It’s an open secret that there are state schools failing to engage students, leading to absenteeism and hopelessness. Thankfully, there’s a solution right in front of us. The Government should immediately announce an expansion of Partnership Schools, allowing operators of successful Partnership Schools to take over failing state schools.

“Vanguard Military School uses a military ethos to produce fantastic outcomes for kids unengaged by the state system. Next year, the police-associated Blue Light charity is opening a Partnership boarding school focused on lifting achievement for Maori boys. The schools are contracted to reach targets in attendance and achievement.

“These are innovative approaches to education, tailored to kids’ actual needs. With more MPs ACT will roll out these approaches to the kids National has failed, cutting off youth crime at its root.”


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