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Labour recognises school hopping problem

Labour
2000 web siteLabour has recognised the issue of school hopping with a commitment to start tackling the problems using new technology, Labour education spokesperson Trevor Mallard said today.

He was commenting on a news report from Auckland principals saying that children who were changing schools regularly were missing out on large gaps of the curriculum.

"What is more worrying is that many young children drop out of school altogether and the systems to try and prevent this happening are ad hoc and limited," Trevor Mallard said.

"I certainly support the call from the Auckland Principals' Association for more research on this matter. However, Labour has already proposed practical initiatives to start tackling this problem.

"In our schools policy, Labour has stated that school information needs to be stored and updated electronically so that it can be passed speedily to schools. This would help a new school quickly identify where a child's learning is at.

"We will also establish and maintain a central database of all school age children to ensure that children do not drop out of the system or have long absences. This was recommended by the 1995 children at risk report and has been totally ignored by the National Party.

"Labour's wider social policies will also help address school hopping. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the high cost of housing is the reason many families shift from school to school as they are unable to afford to rent a home and live in a constant steam of short term accommodation," Trevor Mallard said.


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