Labour's education plan 'smart'

TRACY WATKINS
Last updated 16:03 06/07/2014

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OPINION: Labour's plan to reduce class sizes may not be a game changer - but it is smart.

David Cunliffe has cleverly targeted an area that was National's Achilles heel thanks to Education Minister Hekia Parata's aborted - and controversial -  plan to pay for teacher training by increasing class sizes.

This is an issue that goes to the heart of parents concerns about the school system; most would crawl over hot coals to get their kid into a class where the teacher has the time to give them individual attention - and that means smaller classrooms, not bigger ones.

Labour says the cost will be covered by scrapping National's fund for performance pay for teachers and executive principles. 

Apparently this announcement was supposed to be the warm-up act to Cunliffe's announcement yesterday to make personal computers available to every child. The class sizes announcement was going to be Saturday and the digital devices initiative today. But the order was shifted around thanks to the iPad announcement being leaked to Fairfax. It is ironic then that today's announcement on class sizes is likely to have much greater cut through.

So whether by accident or design, Labour hit the right note today.


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