News release 22 November 2011
Little new vision in education policies
QPEC Chair Liz Gordon has criticised the education policies of most parties in the election campaign as being without
vision and often “boringly predictable”.
“National’s was late, predictable and sets the sector up for three years of battles on a purely political point – league
tables. There is also a concern that a performance-based funding option will benefit high decile schools full of
high-achieving children from wealthy backgrounds who get an Ipad for their fifth birthday. Yet the government’s own
policy is supposed to be to lift the achievement of the have-nots”.
She said the policy of moving to a graduate teaching profession is an idea she supports in principle, “but only if it
done properly: a two-year Masters degree, funded by teaching scholarships and a two-year bond so that new teachers are
not burdened with huge student loans”.
“Labour’s policy, of course, is to get rid of the failed national standards policy and it scores a mark for intending to
abolish the private schools scholarship scheme, and use the money to improve state school funding. But overall it’s
policy is full of buzzwords, with few real ideas”.
Dr Gordon said the Māori Party’s education policy is surprisingly meagre and “lacking either fire or substance”.
She said that only the Mana and Green Party education policies appear to offer any vision of the rebuilding of a sadly
depleted public education system.
“I like Mana’s vision for a strong public education of high quality, the review of Tomorrow’s Schools and the
reinstatement of a national system of community education for all. Mana’s policy requires significant reinvestment in
education, which QPEC supports”.
She said the Green Party will also increase funding to schools and work to set up a Commission of Inquiry into Schools.
“This is great – QPEC has been asking for one for a decade, and both National and Labour have refused. Perhaps the
Greens can use this as a negotiating tool after the election”.