Election 2014

22 Nov 2011

Labour says Tolley blocking Maori students' success

9:26 am on 22 November 2011

Labour candidate for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says National has derailed the hopes of Maori parents by closing down a successful class for senior students in Northland.

Moerewa School has been running a class for senior students doing NCEA units as a satellite unit of Kia Aroha College in Auckland.

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But as Education Minister Anne Tolley has directed it to end the arrangement.

Mrs Tolley says factors in her decision were the limited subject range at Moerewa, the impact of the unit on the rolls of local secondary schools, and rising Maori achievement levels at those schools.

But Mr Davis says the Moerewa students are achieving outstanding NCEA results compared with those schools and the national average.

He says the Government should be removing barriers to Maori achievement but Mrs Tolley has done the exact opposite.

Moerewa School principal Keri Milne-Ihimaera has been a prominent opponent of national standards.

Mr Davis says it appears that National's education policy is now to close down successful Maori programmes if the school and community involved criticise the standards.