Ministry leak tells me Redcliffs backdown in the offing

My main ministry source tells me there seems to be movement suggesting a backdown on Redcliffs School.

A few weeks ago, pre-Northland, I saw Parata in the House and there she was doing her well-practised closure dance.

No decision, no decision tarumpapa! as she danced her little jig and Cheshire-cat smirk widened.

A mother of the nation, saccharine-laden voice.

It was something horrible to behold.

By the way, she looks pasty and not at all well.

I asked my source to check if Parata might be caught up in a cabinet reshuffle – is a resignation in the air and an ambassadorial post in her future?

On the ministry return to work on Tuesday, the big whisper was backdown. But apparently Parata is resisting.

In the House, pre-Northland, in answer to a question from Ruth Dyson, Parata had extrapolated in her inimitable way to say there were things in the reports or could be implied from them that could, in the future, have the children shifted from the school for up to two years while repairs were being made.

Oh the National government at work in education.

The school Christchurch reorganisation showed both primary school leadership as well as political leadership in a miserable light.

I had very little to say while it was happening because it was too complex for me to grasp properly and hold on to. (Perhaps that extends to this matter too, let me know.)  I heard 21st century education defined as large schools with large rooms, I saw those buildings used as cover for unlovely career and political ambitions – it was horrible.

And there was the government playing on the naivety and trust of communities in mainly lower socio-economic areas – very expensive rugs and beads.

Parata, thwarted in so much of her other education programmes, relished the power of cutting a swathe through schools, oh the smugness as she backhanded school after school.

But when I saw the formula resurrected for Redcliffs – the same loathsome game – I immediately sensed she was overplaying her hand; carried away, it seemed, with the joy of returning to the Christchurch reorganisation fun and games of yesteryear.

I looked at the sacrifice of the parents biding their time at Van Asch.

I looked at the decile of one of the schools middle class parents might have their children moved to.

I looked at property values of houses nearby – not a good thing itself and not a good signal.

I looked at the result of the last Lyttleton election, not quite as good for National as trumpeted, but the electorate had definitely become marginal.

I looked at a National Party not quite as cocky as before.

And I looked at a prime minister needing his image burnished.

So when I heard from my source of a backdown being mooted I was not surprised.

But is it an augury for a change of minster of education?

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3 Responses to Ministry leak tells me Redcliffs backdown in the offing

  1. kellyned says:

    Kiaora Kelvin, I hope that you are right – certainly the Northland result has given National a fright. The matter I would love to see impacted by their Northland defeat would involve EDUCANZ being canned in favour of a democratically elected body. Maybe National isn’t that scared yet.
    Now we perhaps need NZ First and Labour to come in with some strong moral and logical options. Principled leadership could carve a swath through National’s unscrupulous behaviours.

  2. poled says:

    The formula of starting with some blind grand plan is the Parata way. Start with NCEA level 2, (I’ve read the more recent article) and work back, right to pre-school, to say what and how little kids should be learning, sorry, what they should be taught. So with Redcliffs it is what is the master plan that these people, sorry buildings, have to fit in with. Ain’t political surprises a bugger when they bite you on the bum!

  3. catharina says:

    Thinking there may be several changes in the offing, the 3 month changes, 6 months, 1 year, 18 months… Somewhere in this John Key will exit as PM. According to National insiders.

    In the meantime the Govt will hold on desperately to its corporate business model for education, Harvard Ed faculty led, in my view.

    Noam Chomsky has some interesting words in Daily News Digest this week.

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