Shearer applauds school's effort

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 30/11/2012
David Shearer
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ

CLASSROOM VISIT: Labour Party leader David Shearer talks to Oceanview Heights School pupils Daesharn Wilson, left, and Shaneka Pritchard, in Timaru yesterday.

David Shearer
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ
CLASSROOM VISIT: Labour Party leader David Shearer talks to Oceanview Heights School pupils Daesharn Wilson, left, and Shaneka Pritchard, in Timaru yesterday.

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Labour Party leader David Shearer believes Oceanview Heights School's breakfast programme is a model other low-decile schools could follow.

Mr Shearer visited Timaru yesterday for the first time since he became party leader a year ago.

He visited Oceanview Heights School as well as meeting chamber of commerce representatives and other community leaders.

"I understand the Oceanview Heights School programme is done on a voluntary basis, and uses the local networks," Mr Shearer said.

"If you have a 5-year old who doesn't have breakfast, then they're less likely to have lunch. You're not going to get good performance in the classroom and they're going to be disruptive."

He said his party's policy to roll out free food to 650 of the lowest decile primary and intermediate schools in the country should it become Government in 2014 would not be expensive.

"It's been estimated to cost between $5 million to $15 million a year . . . and we would work with local networks already in place. It's a really good investment."

With Parliament due to wrap up soon, Mr Shearer was looking forward to the break, and would like a "new fishing rod" for Christmas.

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- The Timaru Herald

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