Education Minister Nick Smith has reverted to 'me too' mode with the announcement that National supports a Labour
proposal for a professional standards body for the teaching profession, Labour education spokesperson Trevor Mallard
"Extending the Teacher Registration Board into an Education Council is a feature of Labour's education policy which was
released nearly four months ago," Trevor Mallard said.
"If the Minister has long advocated this concept, why has he been so silent in his support and why has he only just made
an announcement when the green paper on teacher education which he refers to has been out for more than two years?
"And if he truly believes that 'the standard of our children's education is only as good as the person in front of the
classroom' why do the Prime Minister and Dr Smith devote so much energy to constant teacher-bashing instead of
supporting many of the very real concerns teachers have about the state of New Zealand schools?
"In fact, I believe that National's teacher bashing has turned a lot of senior secondary school students off from even
considering teaching as a career option, and had a detrimental effect on the pool of applicants that colleges of
education have to select from.
"On the surface, I do not disagree with most of the proposals outlined by Dr Smith today but I am extremely cynical of
his timing and the reasons for his support.
"Labour in government will continue with its plans for an Education Council and I look forward to further consultation
with parents, trustees and teachers about these plans after November 27," Trevor Mallard said.