15 Jun 2009

Future of parental advice services in doubt

11:05 am on 15 June 2009

The future is uncertain for two services that give educational advice to parents, as a result of cuts in the Government's budget.

The Office of Children's Commissioner says it is disappointed that the $200,000 it receives each year for education advocacy will dry up at the end of June.

Commissioner John Angus says the office gets about 250 calls a year about school-related issues such as bullying and suspensions.

It also passes on some of its government funding to a Wellington Law Centre information line which has provided advice about education matters to parents around the country for the past 10 years.

The centre says it's very disappointed the future of its parents' legal information line is now uncertain.

The supervising lawyer of the information line Felicity McNeill says it receives up to 600 calls a year about school-related concerns.

She says some parents who contact the line are quite desperate.

Ms McNeill says services like the legal information line have helped parents to be more assertive about voicing concerns that they may have about their children's schooling.

Dr Angus says the services are too important to just drop and he's looking at how they might be continued.