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.
A major private tertiary education group now being investigated for providing false data to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) shows the sector is in freefall, says Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson David Cunliffe.
“Quantum Education Group QT Limited, a subsidiary of NZX listed Itueri, had qualification completion rates of 100% from 2012-2014 and 1758 enrolled students across that period. Now it turns out that more than half of those students dropped out and failed to complete a qualification.
Steven Joyce has admitted in Parliament he knew about the problems around Agribusiness Training Limited back in January, says Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe.
“The crisis around the training provider was broken in the media late on a Friday afternoon after parliament had risen several weeks ago. However the Tertiary Education Commission made a comprehensive report to the Government on May 19.
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.
The Government’s decision to loosen funding criteria for tertiary providers shows that their priorities are all wrong, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says.
“The new model would allow rapid inflation of student numbers and funding without approval from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). It comes on the back of a series of rorts uncovered across the tertiary sector that went undetected for years.
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.
"Cynically dumping news of the liquidation of rort-ridden Agribusiness Training Ltd (ABT) over a long weekend can't hide the fact that the tertiary sector is in a compliance crisis", Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says.
ABT has gone into liquidation with a $6 million-plus bill to pay back funds improperly received from the taxpayer following an investigation by the Tertiary Education Commission and Deloitte. The future of students enrolled at the Southland based organisation remains unclear.
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.