INDEPENDENT NEWS

Why The Secrecy, Trevor?

Published: Wed 15 Oct 2003 04:43 PM
Why The Secrecy, Trevor?
Wednesday 15 Oct 2003 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Education
Not content with closing state schools throughout New Zealand, Education Minister Trevor Mallard now wants to change the law to allow him to close, or merge, integrated schools, ACT New Zealand Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.
"Under the Integration Act 1975, the Minister can't close an integrated school, unless the school itself agrees. If an integration agreement is cancelled, the school reverts to being a private school," Miss Coddington said.
"Mr Mallard claims this legislation review is welcomed by integrated schools. He made similar comments when he embarked on the massive `network reviews' of state-owned schools. Today - after closing almost 100 schools and affecting thousands of families - parents, teachers and principals are feeling anything but welcome towards this Minister.
"Today in an answer to my question in the House, Mr Mallard would not guarantee that this review would not result in law changes allowing the closure of integrated schools.
"Interested parties have been given just six weeks to respond to the Education Ministry's `discussion document' - three of which were school holidays.
"Trevor, if schools have nothing to fear from this review, why the unseemly haste and secrecy?" Miss Coddington said.
ENDS
For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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