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There has been huge interest from communities since National announced its Future of Education public meetings with a focus on the Tomorrow’s Schools proposals and wider education issues, National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.

“Because of such high demand, and our desire to ensure that as many people as possible can attend, we are looking to fit in 40 meetings over eight weeks. We are securing dates, times and centres for all the 40 meetings which will be updated on the National Party website.

“Unfortunately, the rapidly approaching deadline for the Tomorrow’s Schools consultation of early April means that it’s not possible to hold a meeting in every electorate. However, I will be travelling the country to hold meetings in most of the major town centres from Kerikeri to Stewart Island.

“The meetings will be jointly hosted by myself and the local National MPs, some members of National’s Education Caucus will also be in attendance. I plan to attend all of the 40 meetings.

“National has also welcomed a request by the Chair of the Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce, Bali Haque, to have some of the taskforce or officials attend some of our meetings as part of their own public consultation process.

“National want to ensure that the 19,000 trustees on school boards and hundreds of thousands of parents have the opportunity to have a good understanding of the proposals. To ensure this we will be providing factual information on the changes as well as seeking feedback.

“I will provide the feedback from our public meetings to the taskforce before the consultation process closes.

“I expect that an important part of the meetings will also be discussions around wider issues in education including NCEA changes, school property and additional learning needs.

“The Tomorrow’s Schools proposals represent the largest education reforms in over thirty years, and we want to ensure more parents, educators and communities have the opportunity to be heard.”

National’s Future of Education meeting schedule available here.

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