Kaye to hold Oamaru meeting

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National’s Education spokeswoman Nikki Kaye is holding a public meeting in Oamaru next week, as part of a national series to listen to parents’ and teachers’ concerns and views on education issues, especially reforms proposed in the Government’s Tomorrow’s Schools Review.

The Oamaru meeting, to be held at 4pm on February 27 at the Oamaru Club, is one of 42 being held around the country.

“I expect, though, by the time I finish the next seven or eight weeks, I probably would’ve had more than 100 meetings of some description with educators and parents around both the [Tomorrow’s Schools] proposals, but also other education policy,” Ms Kaye told the Oamaru Mail

Her Future of Education meeting series kicked off in Hamilton on February 8.

“I’ve had multiple requests [for meetings] right across the country,” she said.

“[Waitaki MP] Jacqui Dean was pretty firm and adamant that the community of Oamaru needed a meeting.”

The meetings were aimed at principals, teachers and parents, but she also hoped to have contributions from grandparents and students in the community.

“The review has the potential to impact every part of our education system,” she said.

“One of the core aspects of the proposal would see, in my view, a stripping away of power of parents, but also potentially less control for educators in schools and more power with officials.”

The main focus of the meeting was gathering feedback and giving parents, students, teachers and principals the opportunity to have their voices heard.

“While I might present for 20 minutes, the major thing is getting people’s feedback,” she said.

“It’s both an information-type setup and then also to really listen to people’s views around not only the Tomorrow’s Schools proposals, but other issues in education in Oamaru.”

Once her meeting series is complete, Ms Kaye will provide a summary of the feedback to the Tomorrow’s Schools Review Taskforce.