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Tinetti playing politics with crucial attendance data

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 04 May 2023 -

Tinetti playing politics with crucial attendance data

The Government has been caught red-handed trying to deceive New Zealanders over the delay of critical school attendance data to cover up its failings in education, National’s Education spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“On 22 February, I asked the Education Minister if she could categorically state that she played no part in delaying the release of Term 3 2022 attendance data.

“In response, Jan Tinetti said in Parliament, “I can categorically tell that member that the Ministry of Education is responsible for the data. I have no say over that.” She repeated the claim in media interviews the following day.

“Information provided to National under the OIA proved that to be false and led to her having to correct her statements to Parliament.

“Correspondence between Ms Tinetti’s office and the Ministry of Education clearly shows multiple staff in her office played an active role in delaying the release of this information.

“Instead of releasing the data promptly, Tinetti’s office and officials agreed to withhold it until Labour was ready to make an announcement about truancy. It appears the data was deliberately delayed until the Government could cobble together a plan to mitigate the fallout of the abysmal numbers.

“It is sheer hypocrisy that Ms Tinetti – who frequently proclaims the importance of timely data – is holding back information that schools and principals need, in order to cover up her Government’s failings in education.

“Principals have told me that they needed this information in late December to inform their annual and strategic plans, and to make applications for funding to get kids back in school.

“Ms Tinetti has denied them this opportunity and played politics with data that was critical to the futures of Kiwi children.

“The tragedy in all of this is that those who have been let down are Kiwi kids who deserve better than a Minister who chose to put her political needs above their right to a great education.”


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