A big focus of my leadership of the Labour Party has been about creating more opportunities for young people. It’s only by giving people the freedom to achieve their goals that we can ensure they get a shot at the Kiwi dream.
If you look at the policies we’ve launched in the last two years – three years free tertiary education, dole for apprenticeships, building 100,000 affordable homes for first home buyers, entrepreneur grants for young people – they’re about creating opportunities for people that they increasingly don’t have under the current government.
The announcement today by the Minister of Education, Hon Hekia Parata, that Redcliffs School will be returning to Redcliffs, will be greeted with delight by the community, says Ruth Dyson Member of Parliament for Port Hills.
The National government is ploughing ahead with a plan to legislate for the introduction of online schools against official advice and despite being presented with research that shows online schooling models overseas have weaker results than their traditional counterparts, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“The National government are rushing to legislate for online schools, or COOLs as they call them, without knowing how they will work, how they will be funded, how they will be quality assured, or whether they will actually deliver any better outcomes than the existing school system.
As charter schools prepare to receive another round of bonuses and the National-Act Government confirms the opening of two new schools, documents quietly released by the Ministry of Education highlight major issues around their performance, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Information we’ve received shows four of eight charter schools have been explicitly identified as being non-compliant with their contracts in some areas and seven are not meeting aspects of their performance standards.
Education Minister Hekia Parata might be trumpeting the latest student attendance figures but she’s kept remarkably quiet about the corresponding truancy rates, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Tackling truancy was one of National’s major commitments in 2008 - in fact they claimed they would put $4 million towards it - yet they’ve done little to solve what is one of the most pressing issues in education.
At the same time the Government is looking to pump more cash into private schools the IRD is investigating several over a tax swindle which allows parents to falsely claim private school fees as donations and claim a rebate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Inland Revenue warned against this practice – where fees paid to private education providers or the charitable trust that owns them are being incorrectly categorised as gifts or donations - two years ago.