16 May 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Cuts to classes result of government failure
The Government is determined to do what’s right by Treasury rather than what’s right by our teachers and children,
Labour’s Education spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.
“In her pre-Budget ‘vision’ speech today Education Minister Hekia Parata confirmed National’s policy is being driven by
Treasury rather than quality evidence-based policy.
“How very predictable. Who would have thought that when National promised more for less it meant larger class sizes and
“The rationale behind smaller classes is cost-savings. These cuts are a consequence of skewed priorities and National's
failure to properly manage the economy or create growth,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
“Smaller classes will also mean that our very youngest learners risk getting lost in larger class sizes - something
which has been shown to have a negative impact on their education.
“Studies show that smaller class sizes have the most benefit for students from disadvantaged backgrounds - the long tail
of underachievement that New Zealand is meant to be addressing.
“It also raises questions around teacher redundancy. The estimated savings from increasing class sizes could see as many
as 600 teaching positions cut.
“If Ms Parata is using performance pay as a covert mechanism to remove the role of the boards of trustees in appraising
and assessing the quality of teachers within their own schools she should fully explain that position.
“What we don’t want to see is a further assault on the role of self-managing schools or arbitrary assessment of
teachers’ worth,” said Nanaia Mahuta.