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It's time Hekia Parata conceded that her covert plan to increase class sizes is based on flawed rationale, Labour’s Education spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.
"Research from the University of London clearly shows that larger classes will not benefit our youngest learners, or those who are disadvantaged and vulnerable.
“The Minister’s statement today that she decided to introduce larger classes only after the election demonstrates an unhealthy arrogance.
“As does her admission that she did not seek official advice over what real effect the changes would have and the fact that she not only ignored evidence-based research that highlight pitfalls of such a measure, but also didn't listen to the experience of the education sector or the concern of parents,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
"The Government is trying to convince mums and dads that trade-offs – either larger classes or quality teaching – are necessary. Parents are not stupid. The Minister would be better off reversing her decision and engaging constructively with the sector to come up with workable and informed solutions to lift educational outcomes for all our children.
"Labour is committed to reversing National's new teacher/pupil ratios and challenge the Minister to act in the best interests of all children - especially those most vulnerable in our schooling system.
"We believe a quality public education can lift the opportunity for all children.
“Unfortunately the Government appears not to agree with that. Once again it has got its priorities wrong. The Minister needs to reconsider her position,” Nanaia Mahuta said.