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NZ Political Parties’ Education Policies 2017

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s election year, and that means it’s time to look at the various political parties’ education policies.

So, because we are helpful souls here at SOSNZ, here’s a handy alphabetical list of NZ political parties with links to their education policies online (or, where no education policy is yet published, a link to their general policy page):

ACT Party Education Policy

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Education Policy – none on party web page. Other policies are here.

Conservative Party Education Policy – none on party web page. Other policies here.

Green Party Education Policy

Internet Party Education Policy

Labour Party Education Policy

Mana Party Education Policy

Maori Party Education Policy – not on party web page. Other policies are here.

National Party Education Policy

New Zealand First Education Policy

The Opportunities Party (TOP) Education Policy

United Future Education Policy – none on party web page. Other policies are here.

vote for education

 

 

Charter schools evaluation reveals next to nothing, says Green Party

Green party logoThe only useful conclusion in the Government-sanctioned evaluation of charter schools is the confirmation that smaller classes work better, the Green Party says.

The evaluation, carried out by consultancy firm Martin Jenkins and released publicly yesterday, was a narrow study of three of the first five charter schools, which are part of the National Government’s charter schools experiment.

“The report was meant to focus on innovation but the only educational ‘innovation’ clearly identified is that smaller class sizes work better,” says Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“Given that we knew this already, it’s even more apparent that National’s charter schools experiment is a giant waste of money – money which would have been better spent reducing class sizes for all children in state schools.

“The report also identifies ‘risk taking’ as a strength of charter schools, even though we know the risks taken in allowing the Whangaruru charter school were disastrous for the children enrolled there.

“The worst thing about this evaluation is its failure to carry out any real comparison between state schools which innovate and charter schools, which supposedly help priority learners via innovation.

“All we know from this report is that the charter schools like the extra money from the Government, as well as their reduced accountability to the Government, and that small classes help students.

“There is also no mention of any innovation to assist students with special needs, who the Government says are a target for the charter schools model.

“There is already considerable innovation in many state schools and the Green Party’s School Hubs policy would build on that, as well as reduce inequality.

“Introducing School Hubs would mean every decile one to decile four school would have a nurse, food in schools and real community involvement – all of which will lead to a more inclusive education experience for our children,” said Ms Delahunty.

Green Party initiates inquiry into education special needs

The Green Party has initiated a Parliamentary Inquiry into dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum disorders in schools in New Zealand.

Following a request from the Green Party, the Education and Science Select Committee has today agreed to investigate the identification of and support for students facing the significant challenges of dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum disorders.

“We want to change the system so every child has a fair go.”

Green Party Education spokesperson, Catherine Delahunty

“So many students are missing out on education because their learning differences are not identified early enough and help is not made available. We want to change the system so every child has a fair go,” Green Party Education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

Significant numbers of New Zealanders live with these conditions.

  • 13,000 children between 2-14 have been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum disorder (including Asperger’s syndrome),
  • autism is estimated to affect 40,000 people,
  • dyslexia is estimated to affect 70,000 people, and
  • dyspraxia is estimated to affect 70,000 schoolchildren.

“Of course, these figures are speculative because the identifying of these learning issues has been so contentious,” Ms Delahunty said.

“There needs to be strong processes and support in place to enable these learners to make the most of their educational opportunities.

“Investigations at an early level of education are important before students may become discouraged from education at higher levels.

“Decile 10 schools are seven times more likely

to get Special Assessment Conditions assistance

than students in Decile 1 schools”

“Of particular concern, has been the inequality in access to support for these conditions. Decile 10 schools are seven times more likely to get Special Assessment Conditions assistance than students in Decile 1 schools.

“It can cost well over $700 to get these special assessments done. Parents and schools need assistance to ensure that these conditions are picked up and students get the assistance that they need,” Ms Delahunty said.

The Terms of Reference include:

  • Investigate current screening in schools
  • Identify best educational practice
  • Investigate why Special Assessment Conditions differ so greatly among schools

“While this is great news for special needs learners, I am disappointed that the Select Committee has not taken up my Te Reo in schools inquiry as well.

“I urge a wide range of parents, schools, and teachers to participate and engage in the Select Committee process that is going ahead.

“It is very encouraging to have the support of the other parties on the Select Committee to address this problem. I hope it will result in students being able to get the right help that they need,” Ms Delahunty said.

– END

Government’s Budget announcements for kids can’t be trusted – Green Party

Green party logoA huge underspend in special education shows that Government Budget promises can’t be trusted and Ministers have no idea about the real needs of children, the Green Party says.

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve.

“It’s hard to know whether this is deliberate penny pinching or a complete lack of understanding about the extent of the need in schools; either way children with special needs are missing out,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“This is what happens when the Government is not focussed on the needs of kids, but on other things, like keeping its disastrous Charter School experiment alive.

The Green Party commissioned analysis after last year’s budget showing that spending on education and health was falling in real terms under the National Government. Yesterday we saw the Prime Minister pretending he was spending more on education this year when all he was doing was re-package funding that had already been announced for new schools needed to keep up with population growth.

“The Government likes to be seen to be doing things in education because it knows that is what New Zealanders want, but the experience of special needs kids and their schools is that the promises are increasingly empty.

“The special needs sector has been crying out for more resources for years, and its shocking that the Government is not even spending what they said they would on the most needy learners in New Zealand,” Ms Delahunty said.

– END

Charter school back-down a victory for kids – Green Party

catherine delahuntyThe Education Minister’s confirmation today that there will be no new charter schools is a victory for the children and for public education, the Green Party said today.

In answer to Parliamentary questions from Green Education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty today, the Minister confirmed she was not planning a third Partnership School application round this year.

“This is an admission of failure,” Ms Delahunty said.

“Charter Schools were supposed to be the Government’s big solution to education, yet from the moment they opened they’ve been besieged with problems.

“They were supposed to target the Government’s priority learners, but in Parliament today Hekia Parata confirmed that there were no high needs children – a priority group – enrolled in any of the schools.

“Hekia Parata has done the right thing by putting an end to this expensive experiment and now her focus must go on ensuring children in the established schools get an education that’s up to scratch.

“There is no proof that charter schools are working for children at all. A second round of  schools was approved to open this year, before assessments of the five that opened last year had been made public.

“Today Minister Parata confirmed she had not published the reports because she hadn’t made her “own assessment” of them.

“Many of the people involved in charter schools on the ground have the best intentions for pupils, but a model that undermines public education was never the answer,” Ms Delahunty said.

 

Feed The Kids Bill – please email j.key@ministers.govt.nz by 3rd Nov

feed the kidsLast week Metiria Turei of the Green Party took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, the Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools.

Metiria explains, “Hungry kids can’t learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle when they grow up. Let’s break that cycle, lunchbox by lunch box. We can feed the country’s hungry kids, if we work together.

“My Bill is at a crucial stage of its progress – part way through its First Reading – and may be voted on as early as next Wednesday 5 November.

“The way the numbers stack up in the new Parliament the Bill will be voted down unless we can persuade the National Party to change its position and support it going to Select Committee. National have been talking a lot about child poverty since the election, and supporting my Bill is one way they can start to address it.

“You can help me persuade the Prime Minister to let the public have a say on this important issue by emailing John Key, asking that National support my Bill at least to Select Committee.

“We need to broaden and build the public debate on addressing child poverty, and submissions on this Bill to a Select Committee will help achieve this.

“Because of the potentially short time frame, you’ll need to send your emails as soon as possible and before Monday 3 November at the latest.”

Email John Key at  j.key@ministers.govt.nz 

Education Policies of Main New Zealand Political Parties

vote blackboard

Here are the links to all main parties’ education policies.

Please take time to read them carefully, and be sure you vote for a party that is dedicated to a quality system that supports your vision for the future of New Zealand education.

National: https://www.national.org.nz/policies/education

Labour: https://www.labour.org.nz/sites/default/files/issues/labours_education_policy.pdf

Greens: https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/education

NZFirst: http://nzfirst.org.nz/sites/nzfirst/files/manifesto_2014_final_version_3.pdf

Maori: http://maoriparty.org/policies/education/

Mana Movement: http://mana.net.nz/policy/policy-education/

ACT: http://www.act.org.nz/posts/act-education-policy

Internet Party:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/11ZJ1BKSpZThGbxsrp8QKT1sOVOFom2CdntpQIHGKUnI/edit

Conservative: No policy on web site as at 5/9/14

 

The Political Parties’ Education Policies – in their own words

Make a cuppa, grab a couple of bikkies, and take the time to watch this video before you choose where to put your vote on September 20th.

“The Wellington region of the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA) invited the main political parties’ education spokespeople to deliver their views to a live audience.

Here is the video clip of the well attended event.”

 

 

Education matters.

.

Source: http://www.ppta.org.nz/issues/election2014/3099-education-debate-wellington-12aug2014

Is Hekia Parata planning National Standards for preschoolers?

ECEMany of us who have read it are very concerned about the Education Ministry’s Statement of Intent.

The foreword is an exercise in deduction as, like all of the Minister’s communications, it’s hard to get past the waffle and jargon in order to see what is actually meant.

But this is vitally important that educators and parents DO read and understand it, because this document outlines what the Minister is intending to do next to our education system.

When I first read the Statement, I was torn between horror at what is implied in it and amusement at the circumlocution and waffle.  In fact, I immediately wrote my own parody of the Statement, using about 50% of Hekia’s own words and adding my own spin.

It amused me, briefly.

But that amusement didn’t last long.

In actual fact, the Statement of Intent is very concerning.

Very. Concerning.

Catherine Delahunty picks it apart today in this article, and asks some very salient questions about the Ministry’s intent, in particular regarding Early Childhood Education (ECE).

For those of you that don’t know, the Ministry’s Early learning Information System (ELI) is “an electronic monitoring system that requires ECE centres to record children’s enrolment and attendance.”

Delahunty points out that the Education Ministry says it will use its Early Learning Information System:

to help identify particular trends and  the effectiveness of children’s learning…”

Delahunty then asks,

“What on earth do they want 3 and 4 year olds to ‘learn’ and more particularly, what are they planning to measure about the effectiveness of that learning?

There has for a while now been real worries in the ECE sector that National may want preschool kids learning their ’3 R’s’ too. This appears to be a strong signal that we could have National Standards for pre-schoolers.”

I agree, it does appear to signal the Ministry is moving towards measuring the academic achievements of preschoolers.

This is worrying.

There are HUGE concerns from the ECE sector and from parents regarding the push towards standardising learning (and, heaven forbid, testing) for preschoolers.

It’s bad enough that the focus on data and on national and arbitrary standards is being entrenched in primary schools, but to it is even worse to be forcing formal learning on 2,3, or 4 year olds. The move is not supported by the research and in totally unnecessary in terms of good learning.

Ask yourself, why the focus on data and on national and arbitrary standards – what does it achieve?

Has it raised student achievement elsewhere?

The answer is no. But it has created a very lucrative market in testing materials and it has allowed for performance pay for teachers, neither of which benefit the students. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Delahunty says:

“We know that quality parent-led and teacher-led ECE based on a holistic curriculum is the best for small children”

Similar sentiments were echoed by Chris Hipkins (Labour) and Tracey Martin (NZ First) at the Tick For Kids ECE forum in Wellington last week.

The focus on reading and writing, and the obsession with pass marks, is narrowing our education system and crippling both teachers and students.

It is not a positive move.

It will not improve educational outcomes.

It is not supported as good practice by research.

So just what is the motive for doing it?

 

Sources and further reading:

GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed – The Daily Blog

The Ministry of Education’s Statement of Intent 2013 – 2018 (which sets out the key elements of how the Ministry will contribute to the delivery of Government’s priorities for education.)

Beanbags: An Alternative Statement of Intent Possibly from the Minister of Education (or perhaps not)

Hipkins and Martin well received, Parata not so much – what happened at the Tick For Kids Education Forum 12.8.14

Report shows National plan to slash billions from Education Budget

Report shows National plan to slash billions from Education Budget

Ravitch - public schools under attackFindings in an independent analysis of the Government’s books, commissioned by the Green Party, reveal National is planning multi-billion dollar cuts to health, education, and environment spending over the next three years.  

The analysis, prepared by Ganesh Nana of independent economic consultancy BERL, shows that National is stripping funding, in real terms, to the health, education and environment sectors to the tune of at least $3.837 billion over
the next three years.

“National’s election promises are being underwritten by major cuts to health, education and environment spending,” said Green Party Co-leader DrRussel Norman.

“National is being tricky with the books. This is a deliberate deception so National can claim a budget surplus when the reality is that hospitals will be under even greater pressure to cut services while every child in education will be worse off.

“At the time of the Budget in May, National brushed off criticism of these cuts saying they weren’t true. That was spin. National’s cuts to health, education and environment spending are real and damaging. 

“National is attacking the elderly, the young and our environment with these funding cuts.

“BERL’s analysis shows National will cut health spending by 4.5 percent in real terms over the next three years. The cuts are actually 9.8 percent when you apply real health sector price increases.

“Education cuts amount to 1.7 percent over the next three years in total but are far more significant on a per pupil basis.

“In early childhood education (ECE) the cuts per child are 4.6 percent, 3 percent for primary children and 1.1 percent for secondary students.

“Environmental protection is cut by a massive 13.9 percent, leaving our environment vulnerable to further degradation,” said Dr Norman. 

“In Government, the Green Party will maintain real levels of funding in health, education and the environment to protect against inflation and ensure vital services are not gutted.

“We will allocate $3.837 billion to health, education and the environment to protect these essential services for New Zealanders.

“The Green Party will reverse National’s cuts to our important services. Funding for our hospitals and schools and environmental protection will be maintained and inflation adjusted under the Greens.

“The Greens will use National’s provision for new spending to invest back into health, education and the environment to maintain real funding levels.

“Our plan to protect core Government spending is more than covered by existing budget provisions for new spending going forward and is affordable within budget parameters.

“Voters need to be crystal clear that a vote for National is a vote for spending cuts on health, education and our environment.

“Voters have a choice this election, re-elect National for big cuts to health and education, or protect the funding of our essential public services by voting Green.”

Hipkins and Martin well received, Parata not so much – what happened at the Tick For Kids Education Forum 12.8.14

There was an air of excitement, tension and hope at last night’s Tick For Kids education forum in Wellington.  The room was packed, and people were very keen to hear what the parties’ representatives have to say about education policy.

Kiwis are no fools, though, with people well aware of what Chris McKenzie called the pre-election lolly scramble to present popular policy, only 10% of which we might see post-election.

Given what we have heard so far and what was presented at this forum, we can only hope that far more than 10% of the promises come to fruition should there be a change in government.

So, to the night.  

The panel comprised Hekia Parata (National), Chris Hipkins (Labour), Tracey Martin (NZ First), Peter Dunne (United Future), Chris McKenzie (Maori Party), Suzanne Ruthven (Greens), and Miriam Pierard (Internet-Mana) and was MCed very well by Dave Armstrong.

The candidates’ names were drawn from a bowl to determine the order in which they spoke – all very fair and orderly – and Armstrong made clear that people were welcome to mention each other, refer to other parties’ policies, and so on – unlike the shambles at Helensville the previous night.  That got a big giggle.

(Clearly the Helensville event wasn’t run by Tick For Kids, otherwise it would have been far more interesting and informative.)

First up was Chris McKenzie (Maori Party)

McKenzie outlined a credible background in education and then won a significant ripple of applause when he said the Maori Party will reinstate ACE (Adult and Community Education) funding.  

McKenzie also said they would make Te Reo compulsory and would look into the teaching of civics so that students understand the democratic process.  

Given I had spent 90 minutes the night before trying to explain that very thing to my babysitter, I could well understand the need for civics in the curriculum.  Maybe my high school colleagues can fill me in on what they feel is needed?

Peter Dunne (United Future) was up next 

Dunne spoke mostly in generalities, with lots of feel good stuff about great teaching and high expectations, saying he wouldn’t be more specific as United Future’s policy is not out until next week!  

He did, however, go out on a high note by stating UF would work to repeal charter schools.  

Cue more audience applause.

Hekia Parata (National; Education Minister) was the next to take centre stage

Hekia tfkWellyParata started by saying that student achievement had risen during National’s time in government and that now students are staying in school longer, saying that there was still more to do, especially for the neediest groups.

There was a wee round of clapping from one corner of the room.  I later spotted that group leaving with Ms Parata – whether anyone *not* in her entourage clapped, I cannot say for sure…

Parata then said that special education needs was a key area of focus, and this elicited mumbling from the audience, most of whom are no doubt well aware that SEN provision is diabolical and has only got worse under this government.  For my own part, it was all I could do to stay quiet and not shout “Tell that to Salisbury School!”

Parata continued on to say that Investing in Education Success (IES) policy would see to it that those issues are all addressed.  This did not go down well with the audience. There was muttering.

Parata ended with a flourish by pronouncing “decile is not destiny” and banging the lectern. It might have gone down well were it not for the fact that teachers KNOW THAT already and don’t take kindly to being patronised.  If she was waiting for a round of applause for her showmanship, she was disappointed.

And if showmanship is what was called for, we were in luck, because the next person to speak was Tracey Martin (New Zealand First), who always gives a clear and excellent speech.

Tracey Martin (New Zealand First)

Martin pulled no punches, opening by saying that teachers and the education system have been under constant attack by this government and it’s been relentless.  She listed what we have seen from National: increased class sizes, charter schools, national standards and more.  

Martin said parents were tricked into supporting (or at least not fighting) National Standards by the promise that they would be helpful, but said that’s not turned out to be the case.  

Tracey Martin tfkWellyMartin said that *if* Hekia Parata actually meant the things she said and did what she said, things would be far better, but she says one thing when she is means another.

In other words, the sales pitch doesn’t match what’s delivered.  

The audience seemed to agree, with a large clap and mutterings of “too right”.

There was no pause as Martin went straight into EDUCANZ and the assault on teachers’ democracy.  More clapping.

Martin then made absolutely clear that NZF would repeal both National Standards and charter schools.  Applause from the room.

She went on to say that the conversation about how to improve education needs to be given back to teachers, that the sector itself needs to be involved and listened to.  

She said change should be driven by teachers and facilitated by politicians, not the other way around.

Barely pausing for breath, Martin said Boards of Trustees (BOTs) would get compulsory training under NZF plans, ORS funding would increase to 3%, and there would be more money for special needs across the board.

This was all very well received by the audience, and Martin ended by saying (in a wee dig at Dunne) that New Zealand First’s education policy is already online, in full, and had been there for three months.  She urged us all to read it.  You should.

Suzanne Ruthven (Green Party)

Tracey Martin was a hard act to follow, but Suzanne Ruthven from the Green Party (who was standing in for Catherine Delahunty due to a family emergency) spoke to the effect of poverty on a student’s chances of success, said that education needed to be seen in its wider context, and outlined briefly the Green Party’s School Hubs Policy.  

Ruthven explained that School Hubs would be flexible, there was money there for a Hub coordinator so that teachers were not expected to run them on top of their workload, and that schools and communities to mould them in whatever ways best suited their own needs.

And now to Chris Hipkins (Labour)

Chris started by saying he got a top rate education in a state school, and thanked his maths teacher who he had spotted at the back of the room.

He won the crowd over further by quoting Beeby:

“…every person, whatever his level of academic ability, whether he be rich or poor, whether he live in town or country, has a right, as a citizen, to a free education of the kind for which he is best fitted, and to the fullest extent of his powers.” C E Beeby

Without a pause for breath, Hipkins said charter schools would be repealed under Labour. National Standards would be gone. IES would be gone.  School donations would be addressed. 

He then said the Advisory Service would be put back in place, and the audience erupted into applause and cheers.

He went on – ECE would be funded to 100% qualified staff – more clapping

– and EDUCANZ would be ditched – HUGE applause and cheers, again, from the audience.

Hipkins sat down with the clapping still going.

Miriam Pierard was next up

Pierard explainsed that until very recently she was a teacher, and she believes once a teacher always a teacher.  

It is, she says, time to take the education system back.

Pierard was clear that poverty and education need to be addressed together and that any government must work alongside teachers to find solutions.  She stressed that the Internet Party want to hear from teachers about what they believe needs to be done. 

Pierard reminds the crowd that ACT Party describe teachers as “vile” and says not all politicians feel that way.

Pierard ends by asking how many teachers in the room have been stuffed over by Novopay? Over half the hands went up.  There’s applause for the recognition of the scale of the problem. She nods, sagely.  

We all nod.  

And sigh.

And with that, the candidates’ speeches are over, and we are onto Question Time… which deserves a post all of its own….

________________________________________________

Other articles about the event:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10378693/Hekia-Parata-put-in-corner-at-debate

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11307961

https://storify.com/Dianne_Khan/tick-for-kids-education-forum-wellington-12-8-14

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/election-2014/252029/crowd-puts-tough-questions-to-parata

Political heavyweights go head to head on children’s issues

Key political figures will debate the rights and interests of children at a forum to be held at Ponsonby Primary in Auckland next week.

The event promises to be a lively one with Education Minister Hekia Parata facing off against a full complement of party spokespeople and candidates.

Those taking part alongside Hekia Parata include:

  • Jacinda Ardern (Labour)
  • Denise Roche (Greens)
  • Miriam Pierard (Internet Mana)
  • Tracey Martin (New Zealand First Deputy)
  • John Thompson (ACT President)

The event is being run under the banner of ‘Tick for Kids’; a collective that seeks to put the interests of children at the centre.

Spokesperson Anton Blank says, “We want New Zealanders to engage with politicians about issues for our children. These local events provide platforms for everyone to articulate these concerns to political candidates directly.”

With so many important politicians involved the debate is bound to be vigorous and wide-ranging, covering education, health, housing and child poverty.

“We know that the New Zealand public is concerned about increasing rates of child poverty,” says Anton Blank.

He states that the ‘Tick for Kids’ movement, which is less than a year old, is becoming an important non-partisan force in New Zealand and the engagement of politicians in ‘Tick for Kids’ events is proof of that.

When: Wednesday August 6th

Where: Ponsonby Primary School, 44 Curran Street, Herne Bay, Auckland

See event information.

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——————————————————-

For more information:

http://tick4kids.org.nz/

https://www.facebook.com/tickforkids

 

Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning – Metiria Turei

novopayThe end of the disastrous Novopay system must not serve as a stalking horse for the next big threat National poses to schools – the bulk funding of teacher salaries, the Green Party said today.

“Today’s announcement that the National Government will effectively nationalise Novopay, is an indictment on National’s blinkered ‘market knows best’ ideology and the entire teaching force are owed an apology,” Green Party Co leader Metiria Turei said.

“Teachers have been through hell for the last two years, while the Government has continued to deny there is even a real problem.

“Just a few weeks ago Finance Minister Bill English was blaming the principals’ collective agreements for Novopay’s problems, saying Novopay was as good as it can get and ‘it can be improved now only by making the underlying collective agreements less complicated than they are’.

“Now National is saying that Novopay is so dysfunctional it needs to nationalise the whole system – well which story is the one they want to stick to?

“It is well known that National wants to bulk fund teacher salaries and this is the obvious next threat on the horizon. With the Government in charge of teacher pay, National must not be allowed to use the Novopay fiasco to make this happen.

“Teachers have endured two years of hell, never knowing from one week to the next if they’ll get paid or what they’ll get paid and they need to be assured that the bulk funding nightmare is not set to follow that.

“Teachers are owed an apology and the promise of full and proper compensation for any losses. “It now looks like the people of New Zealand will be tens of millions out of pocket from this fiasco. Talent 2 must be made to pay the costs of any expenses the taxpayer or any individual teachers have incurred, any less is to let them off the hook.

‘The fact is there was a perfectly good payroll system operating before Novopay came along and National’s attempts to get a bargain basement deal are at the heart of this
whole fiasco. “Of course Novopay needs to be dealt with once and for all – teachers’ deserve nothing less – but they have been put through hell and I doubt they’ll ever forget that,” Mrs Turei said.

Survey Of Political Parties On Child Well-Being Issues

Bryan Bruce - Inside child povertyby Bryan Bruce, Knowledge is Power

Last week I surveyed all the political parties on where they stood on 10 issues  directly or indirectly  related to child well-being in New Zealand.

They were asked which of them they would or would not support  in principle  should it come to a vote in the upcoming parliament.

Bill English on behalf of National refused to take part in the survey saying the questions were ‘hypothethical”.

National are also now the only party not to commit to cross-party talks after the election to see if some long term solutions to issues surrounding child poverty can be found.

Some parties chose to give ‘No Answer’ to some of the questions because their party had not yet formed a view. National’s refusal to respond has also been listed as ‘No Answer’ …..

1. Warrant of fitness to be compulsory for all rental properties within three years.

WOULD SUPPORT

Green Party

Labour

Mana

NZ First

Maori Party United Future

Alliance

Democrats for Social Credit

Internet Party

WOULD NOT SUPPORT

ACT

Conservative Party

NO ANSWER

National

2. Progressively extend the paid parental leave period to 12 months within the next six years.

WOULD SUPPORT

Green Party

Labour

Mana

NZ First

United Future

Alliance

Democrats for Social Credit

Conservative Party

Internet Party

WOULD NOT SUPPORT

ACT

Maori Party

3. Free healthy lunches to be made available to all school children within the next 6 years. The scheme to be introduced first to decile 1, 2 and 3 schools and then rolled out progressively up to decile 10 schools.

WOULD SUPPORT

Green Party

Mana

NZ First

Maori Party

United Future

Alliance

Democrats for Social Credit

Internet Party

WOULD NOT SUPPORT

Labour

ACT

Conservative Party

NO ANSWER

National

4. Free 24 hour medical care be made available to all children and young people up to, and including, the age of 18 within the next three years.

WOULD SUPPORT

Green Party

Maori Party

Mana

NZ First

United Future

Alliance

Conservative Party

Democrats for Social Credit

Internet Party

WOULD NOT SUPPORT

ACT

NO ANSWER

National

Labour

5. One health nurse for every 300 school children and a free doctor visit to schools once a week

WOULD SUPPORT

Green Party Mana

Maori Party United Future

Alliance

Democrats for Social Credit

Internet Party

WOULD NOT SUPPORT

ACT

NO ANSWER

Conservative Party

Labour

National

NZ First

6. Create low interest initiatives to allow families to build or buy affordable healthy housing.

WOULD SUPPORT

Green Party

Labour

Mana

NZ First

Maori Party United Future

Alliance

Democrats for Social Credit

Conservative Party

Internet Party

WOULD NOT SUPPORT

ACT

NO ANSWER

National

7. The introduction of a “living wage” rather than a “minimum” wage?

WOULD SUPPORT

Green Party Labour

Mana

Maori Party

Alliance

Internet Party

WOULD NOT SUPPORT

ACT

Conservative Party

Democrats For Social Credit

United Future

NO ANSWER

NZ First

National

8. Remove GST from food.

WOULD SUPPORT

Mana

Maori Party

Alliance

Democrats for Social Credit

Conservative Party

WOULD NOT SUPPORT

ACT

Green Party

Labour

United Future

NO ANSWER

Internet Party

NZ First

National

9. Repurchase the electricity system to be run as a public utility and not for profit?

WOULD SUPPORT

Mana

NZ First

Alliance

Democrats for Social Credit

WOULD NOT SUPPORT

ACT

Green Party

Labour

Maori Party

United Future

NO ANSWER

Conservative Party

Internet Party

National

 

10. Does your Party undertake to take part in cross party talks after the election to reach long term solutions to child poverty related issues?

YES

Green Party

Labour

Mana

NZ First

Maori Party United Future

ACT

Alliance

Democrats for Social Credit

Conservative Party

Internet Party

NO ANSWER

National

 

Source: Knowledge is Power

See also: www.facebook.com/InsideChildPoverty

Charter School Cover Up

charter schools by Tom Scott

The Green Party is challenging the Government to come clean about how much
it’s planning to spend on the latest round of charter schools, as officials
warn of the serious risks involved in opening more schools without first
seeing whether the existing ones are working.

A list of groups who expressed an interest in applying to run a new charter
school next year was released last night. Many of the organisations are
religious and many failed in their bids to run charter schools in the last
application round.

This comes as Ministry of Education officials warn that the Government has no
idea how charter schools may be hurting other schools, that there are
inconsistencies in the size of charter schools and what’s considered
efficient for other state schools, and that there is a risk of continuing to
fund them every year before evaluating whether they’re working well.

“Officials are warning of considerable risks associated with ploughing
ahead with more charter schools without knowing whether the existing ones are
working for kids, whether they’re hurting other schools in their
neighbourhood, or are even good value for money,” Green Party education
spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said today.

“It is amazingly arrogant to plough ahead with plans to open more charter
schools when the ones already open have not been proven to be successful,
could be damaging other schools in the area, and are sucking up so much
money.

“The existing five charter schools are already set to cost $9 million more
than was budgeted last year and the Government is keeping secret how much it
is planning to spent on the entire next round of new schools.

“The total amount being spent on the current round of charters is now $26
million over their first four years – a staggering amount – which is probably
why the Government is keeping secret how much it plans to spend on the next
round.

“There was no mention at all in the budget about how much National and Act
were planning to spend on the new round of charter schools. Instead the
amount is buried somewhere in the overall contingency fund.

“Public schools throughout the country can only dream of being given the
amount of money that charter schools get. Imagine what schools could achieve
with five times the amount they currently receive.

“No wonder charters can afford to feed their kids, don’t need to ask for
parent donations and can provide free transport to and from school.

“Charter schools were sold as an alternative to ordinary state schools,
which didn’t need to follow the curriculum, meet quality standards or
employ trained teachers.

“But how is it possible to see how well these schools are really doing when
they’re getting five times as much money as other state schools?

“Charter schools are an extreme right idea that’s rooted in the belief
that the state does not have a role in running schools. They’re an attack
on public education which use children in poorer communities to experiment
on,” said Ms Delahunty.

Link to official advice listing the concerns about the Partnership School
programme:
https://my.greens.org.nz/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=183904&qid=18718725

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