"The Education Review Office report on the performance and quality of education in all Mangere and Otara schools represents a significant change in the direction of reports from ERO on schools in this area," Education Minister Wyatt Creech said today.
"Previous reports noted serious under-performance in a significant number of the schools in these suburbs. This report focuses on what in ERO's view needs to be done to fix the problems.
"Many schools have taken up with me a sense of frustration with the fact that ERO reports are negative. This report is constructive in offering solutions."
Mr Creech was commenting on the Education Review Office Report into improving schooling in the Auckland suburbs of Mangere and Otara.
"I have been keen to see solutions emerge to the problems facing the South Auckland schools. The problems have been going on for far too long and the country can not afford to leave the status quo in the schools.
"While it is too soon for me to comment on the specific measures recommended in this report, I have no doubt there needs to be an area-wide strategy to improve education outcomes in Mangere and Otara. I will consider ERO's recommendations and will be making decision as soon as practicable."
Mr Creech said he was extremely concerned about the number of students who leave the two suburbs to get their education, and the number who don't turn up to school at all.
"For the sake of those students and for their futures we have to ensure the schools are running properly, that the principals and teachers are performing and that they have the right support and advice to deliver a good education.
"The 20% of Mangere and Otara schools which manage to offer effective education is evidence that with high quality school management and teaching the education of the students can be handled successfully within the school gate".
Mr Creech said the Ministry of Education Schools Support Project team has been active in Mangere and Otara since the middle of 1995, but it would take time and commitment to get long term sustainable change.
"I am committed to implementing strategies which put the schools on the right track", Mr Creech said."