Stop Education Bill until children are consulted - NZEI

3 February 2017

NZEI Te Riu Roa is joining calls by the Children's Commissioner to stop the progress of the Education Amendment Bill until children have been consulted and concerns about children's rights addressed.

Judge Andrew Becroft, Children's Commissioner, told MPs at the Education and Science Select Committee today that children should be consulted about major changes proposed in the Bill that might deny them their fundamental rights. He called for the Bill to be stopped while proper consultation on the Bill occurred, adding the Bill may be in breach of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"NZEI members share the Commissioner's grave concerns about aspects of this Bill, particularly the possibility of new entrant 4 and 5 year-olds being enrolled in online "schools"," NZEI President Lynda Stuart said.

"We also told the Committee that educators are concerned that the Bill elevates political desire for narrow targets around the '3 Rs' ahead of the right of children to a rich, modern education that sets them up for life.

"The Bill should be stopped until children and the sector are properly consulted, and experts in education and children's rights agree that the changes are in the best interests of children, rather than politicians," Mrs Stuart said.

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