INDEPENDENT NEWS

Minister's response more damning than report

Published: Thu 29 Jul 1999 07:04 PM
Labour education spokesperson Trevor Mallard said the Education Review Office's report on the achievement of boys at schools was more damning for the Minister's response to it.
"There are no real surprises in this report. There has been mounting evidence over the past few years that boys are not doing as well at school as girls are," Trevor Mallard said.
"But the Minister's response is pathetic. Instead of displaying any willingness to help address the problem, he is passing the buck onto schools.
"Schools are already aware of the problems, but what many of them need is support to reverse the trends. They can't do it alone, and the Minister of Education telling them they have to be more focused is not going to help matters.
"Labour's education policy for schools, released this week, had closing the gaps between different sections of the population as one of the key objectives. Labour, in government, is prepared to support initiatives to achieve this - particularly in low income areas where overall achievement rates are much lower.
"For example, we have already committed our support to homework centres and our aim bring local sporting stars on board to encourage the children in this area is one example that will be particularly positive for boys.
"We are also prepared to look at special recruitment campaigns to encourage more males into teaching," Trevor Mallard said.

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