Friday, August 30, 2013

What does Hamish think?

Labour and the Greens have made a big deal about the integration this year of Wanganui Collegiate School. You'll often see it here when regular commenter, teacher and union delegate bsprout brings it up.

Chris Hipkins asked about Wanganui Collegiate again at Question Time yesterday. Labour isn't happy because there hasn't yet been a large uptake on the opportunity for integration. That will happen, but it won't happen overnight.

But whilst Labour and the Greens have turned Collegiate into a political football, we wonder if anyone has asked Labour's Whanganui candidate Hamish McDouall what he thinks. Well, as a matter of fact, the Wanganui Chronicle did just that late last year; check this out:

Wanganui Labour candidate and Collegiate old boy Hamish McDouall said the beauty of the school was that it attracted important international attention,
"It was very important for this district that integration was granted ... I am very pleased that it has been."
Mr McDouall said that as well as Collegiate being granted state integration, he hoped the other four state secondary schools in Wanganui were also looked after: "There are top local secondary schools here."

Oh dear; not only is Hamish McDouall an old boy of Wanganui Collegiate; he's also a strong supporter of the decision to integrate the school.

And so he should be. Collegiate is a big employer in Wanganui, and a local icon. It has produced many fine New Zealanders in politics, sport, farming and business. It is unthinkable that the school may have been forced to close.

Playing politics with these sorts of things is all very well. But sometimes, as Labour discovered yesterday, it blows up in your face.


bsprout said...

This is no mere political football, but a political scandal! The facts speak for themselves:

-The Ministry of Education advised against a bail out.
-Much is made of the academic success of the school but the students generally come from wealthy backgrounds and supportive parents, the students would probably do well in any school.
-The staffing levels are twice that of public schools.
-There are only 400 students attending the school and this would be considered unviable in Christchurch.
-It cost $3.9 million of tax payer money to bail out the school and will cost $3 million a year there after.
-The local public schools could accommodate the students with little extra government spending at all.
-Why should 400 elite students have their privileged education supported so generously ($7,500 per student per year) by the tax payer when the money budgeted to give extra support for struggling students comes out at around $60 each per year?
-What justification is there to close residential schools for high needs students due to economic considerations and yet Wanganui Collegiate is claimed to be economically justified.

My kids have attended public schools with no $7,500 annual handouts from the Government and achieved NCEA excellence. This blatant favouring of the already privileged is appalling and totally unnecessary. I hope you watched the "Mind the Gaps" documentary last night.

We so desperately need a Green Government to put a stop to this utter nonsense:

Keeping Stock said...

You're nothing if not predictable bsprout. I knew you'd rise to the bait!

jabba said...

I was watching Mind Gaps and then .. on came Helen Kelly and that was it.
No Bsprout .. we can't afford a Gween Govt. The Green MPs we have, as with NZlast, should never be in such a positions .. $150k plus PA for Delahunty, Hughes, Browning etc .. you have got to be kidding me.

Savage said...

The Ministry of Education were totally opposed to this integration from day one. Good on National for saving this New Zealand icon. I watched Hipkins in parliament yesterday. He has caused me to change my vote. Labour have just lost a lifelong supporter.

Hoots said...

I heard that the only reason why WCS was saved was because that cock sucker Mark Unsworth got his mate Eagleson to intervene to ensure his brother's children didn't have to change schools.

bsprout said...

Another comment not published?

Keeping Stock said...

Not at this end bsprout