If Education Minister Hekia Parata is convinced money is wasted keeping class sizes small, she should instruct private schools to increase their sizes too, says the Green Party.
Ms Parata, the Mana list MP, has increased class sizes, saying education money is better spent elsewhere.
But Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty says more than $57 million a year in taxpayer funding is given to private schools, such as St Cuthbert’s and Kings College (where Mr Key’s son is educated — Ed). She says: “These schools promote small classes as a great thing for learning.”
No-one wants bigger classes
“Outrage over this policy shows no one wants their children in bigger classes, whether they’re rich or poor.”
Ms Delahunty says:”By allowing these schools to keep their student teacher ratios low, the Government is effectively subsidising lower class sizes for wealthy children.
“As underprivileged children struggle in classes of nearly 30 pupils, wealthy kids have their class sizes capped at half that.
“That is blatantly unfair.”
Vulnerable learners suffer
She says research shows that Māori, Pacific and other vulnerable learners suffer in larger class sizes.
“These children are disproportionately represented in the bottom 20 per cent of achievement levels,” Ms Delahunty adds.
“Ms Parata should look at reducing class sizes for kids who need more teacher time, rather than subsidising low class sizes for those who were always going to do well.
“Outrage over this policy shows no one wants their children in bigger classes, whether they’re rich or poor.” Ms Delahunty says.