Greens fail to do their homework on educationEducation
Education Minister Hekia Parata says the Green Party appeared to be completely unaware of what happens every day in schools up and down the country when it wrote its latest policy ideas.
“We already have around 300 nurses working with virtually every school in the country and with a particular focus on low decile-schools.
“We already provide social workers for every decile 1 to 3 primary school in the country, under the Social Workers in Schools scheme.
“There are already a number of schools operating as community hubs, so it’s not a new idea, but it’s also not a concept that should be forced on every school.
“With Fonterra and Sanitarium we already provide a breakfast in schools programme five mornings a week to any school that wants it.
“We have increased our funding to KidsCan who provide services like raincoats and shoes for children and provide school lunch packs from donations.
“We already subsidise after-school care and holiday care for about 50,000 children, with assistance targeted at low-income families.
“We are already investing $1.5 billion in early childhood education, up from $860 million in 2007/08. Participation in early childhood education has risen to almost 96 per cent and we are focusing on improving participation amongst the most vulnerable groups.
“The Greens should do their homework. They are clearly unaware of all the things the Government is doing in this area, and they are also clearly in denial that the biggest influence on children’s achievement is quality teaching, says Ms Parata.
“Quality teaching raises achievement for kids from all schools, no matter what their decile ranking, which is why we announced our big new investment on Thursday to raise teaching practice and strengthen school leadership.
“If the Greens really cared about getting better results in education they would back that policy instead of opposing it, and they would do the work to understand what is already happening in terms of providing additional support for children in school.”