While National is busy trumpeting less back office public servants, it has glossed over the fact there are fewer frontline staff in special education and teacher numbers are falling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“There are now 41 fewer front line special education staff than there were in 2011. Special education advisors have also been cut by 33 per cent from 171 in 2008 to 116 last year.
New documents show the Education Ministry succumbed to political pressure and covered up an attempt to help hundreds of special needs students at our poorest schools during their NCEA exams, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
"Figures just released show hundreds of students with learning difficulties at low decile schools are sitting exams without support they need and are entitled to.
The independence of the Education Review Office has been seriously called into question following news they re-wrote a damning report on the state of early childhood education following pressure from the government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“The Education Review Office (ERO) are supposed to be an independent watchdog. Their reports and research are supposed to be independent. Re-writing their reports after government pressure is applied through the Ministry of Education seriously compromises that independence.
Hekia Parata is living in a parallel universe if she thinks cutting funding for early childhood services with fully qualified staff will result in higher quality and better outcomes for children, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Today in Parliament the Education Minister first tried to blame Labour, then she tried to deny National made the funding cut, then she claimed she didn’t know, then she tried to say it wouldn’t matter.
A review of education law is timely but the Government must ensure it is a genuine examination of New Zealand’s education system and the future needs of schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Since the Education Act came into effect 26 years ago a lot has changed for teachers, students and school communities.
Education Minister Hekia Parata’s decision to prioritise participation over quality has resulted in complaints about early childhood education centres soaring by 46 per cent in a year, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“The Ministry of Education’s annual summary of complaints against ECE services and Kohanga Reo shows 360 were lodged in 2014, up from 246 the year before.
Quality teaching will always be far more important than school buildings, but that doesn't mean we can't deliver on both, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
"The Government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars rebuilding old schools, and that's a good thing, but they need to invest in teachers’ professional development and the support to go with it.
Government funding cuts are hitting home with kindergartens being forced to lay off teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens – formally the Wellington and Rimutaka Kindergarten Association – this week wrote to parents advising them that Government funding cuts meant they would have to make changes to ensure their 85 kindergartens and home-based services stay viable.
Hekia Parata’s decision to cancel a review of home-based early childhood services is just the latest in a long line of embarrassingly poor judgements that have blown up in her face, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Not long ago Hekia Parata quietly shelved a review of home-based services, saying the National government would rather focus on boosting participation.