INDEPENDENT NEWS

The people of Epsom have been deceived

Published: Tue 21 Sep 1999 11:38 AM
Following the refusal of Auckland Grammar School to adopt a geographic zone, Labour candidate for Epsom David Jacobs today said that the government’s school enrolment legislation is deceptive.
“The people of Epsom have been deceived into believing that their schools are required to draw up zones,” said David Jacobs.
“This has been an issue of huge concern to Epsom people. We want legislation which protects the right of our children to attend their local school. Instead we have been given legislation which only pretends to support a child’s right of local access.
“We have already had to swallow the fact that under the new legislation schools can turn away local children by claiming that another school is ‘reasonably convenient’ even though that school might be much further away.
“Now Auckland Grammar has tested and proved the principle that zones are not required at all under the Education Act.
“So Epsom children are paying the price for the government’s rejection last year of Labour’s proposed amendment to its legislation, which would have guaranteed a child the right of access to his or her neighbourhood school.
“With legal opinions to support them and the Ministry of Education’s agreement over their interpretation of the law, Auckland Grammar has given encouragement to any school which wants just to pick and choose children from the local community.
“It is socially divisive for schools to turn away local children while taking in others from outside the area. Schools should be assisting in strengthening communities, not breaking them up.
“Epsom parents will be sighing with relief upon the election of a Labour government because Labour’s ‘home zone’ policy will guarantee that their children can go to school locally,” said David Jacobs.
ENDS

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