New Zealand Labour Party

Independence of the ERO called into question

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.

“Revelations ERO re-wrote the report to shift responsibility away from the government and down to individual early childhood centres are very concerning. 

“Parents, teachers, and educational leaders rely on the integrity of ERO reports. If those reports are going to be doctored by the Ministry of Education’s ever increasing army of spin doctors, their whole reason for being is seriously undermined. 

“This is just another example of how the National government have their priorities all wrong. They’ve increased spending on public relations by over 200 percent, while the very early childhood centres they are trying to shift blame on to struggle to make ends meet. 

“A beefed-up spin machine at the Ministry of Education, doctoring independent reports and generating a never ending supply of feel-good stories for Hekia Parata won’t do anything to improve the quality of education kids receive,” says Chris Hipkins.