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.
"Hekia Parata ignored a warning from the Ministry that "the credibility of the entire NCEA system is at risk" because of this inequity. No extra funding was allocated in the past two Budgets because there were ‘higher priorities’.
"Emails show there was political pressure on the Ministry to cover up its view that alternative steps taken to fix these inequalities had failed.
"When the Minister’s office didn’t like what the Ministry had to say, emails from her office led to that advice being changed.
"These emails raise serious questions about the Ministry’s independence and the Minister’s ability to do anything but blunder from one disaster to the next," Chris Hipkins says.