Auckland Grammar headmaster John Morris is to be congratulated for speaking out about the negative changes to education
over the last 12 months, particularly the lack of choice now available, ACT Tertiary Education Spokesman Stephen Franks
“The truth is that poor parents want the same opportunity to choose where their children go to school as wealthier
parents - who can move to where public schools are good, or send their children to private schools.
“Trevor Mallard is in fact saying that poor people are too dumb to make choices - when in fact they have the same
concerns as rich people. The poor make decisions all the time, but all of a sudden, Mr Mallard claims they don’t have
enough sense to make decisions about the education of their children.
“Choice is the basis of flexibility, innovation and variety. Choice links users and providers directly with
consequential incentives on schools. Parents can use exit as well as choice to encourage high performance. Schools are
then held (as they should be) accountable to the people who use them, not controlled from above by politicians and
“The New Zealand education system is now behind the rest of the developed world.
“Half of our children leave without even a base level of education. We have to stop failing our children.
“We give money to a bureaucracy that wastes it. We need to put the money where it belongs – with parents and teachers.
“We need to give teachers the opportunity to do the job we know they want to do – teachers like John Morris have their
hands tied behind their back.
“Zoning is elitist - all children must have equal access to education. Less than 5% of New Zealanders now have school
choice. ACT policies will give it to everyone. The present system allows bad schools to ruin children Under ACT policies
everyone would be able to choose schools like Auckland Grammar if that’s what they want,” Mr Franks said.