Safe schools a priority for National

National’s Education spokeswoman, Anne Tolley, has expressed her concern over recent events at Fairfield College in Hamilton.

“It is totally unacceptable for drugs to be in schools,” says Mrs Tolley.

“National’s education policy expects more accountability from schools, and alongside this we have promised to change the law to allow the search and seizure of students for suspected drugs and weapons.

“Parents need to know that schools are totally safe for students and staff.

“Fairfield College has had various statutory interventions over the past few years, including a Commissioner. A new elected Board of Trustees is in place, but it is clear there are still issues at this school which need to be dealt with.

“I’ve instructed the education agencies that much more work needs to be done at this school to ensure a safe environment, and where students can reach their potential.

“The $60 million Positive Behaviour for Learning plan, which addresses serious behaviour issues, is making great progress in schools around the country, but parents also need to take responsibility.

“As part of the plan, 7000 teachers are receiving additional training in effective classroom management, staff from 400 schools are being trained in how to promote positive behaviour and lift student engagement, while more than 15,000 parents in at-risk families are being supported to build more positive relationships with their children.”