Key rules out education vouchers

Prime Minister John Key has ruled out an education voucher scheme for the worst and best performing students on the same day their advocate, ACT MP Heather Roy, was demoted.

A working group of MPs from National, ACT and the Maori Party suggested parents of the 20 percent worst-performing and 5 percent best-performing students be given greater choice about how and where a child was educated and took their Government funding with them.

The group, which was set up under ACT and National's supply and confidence agreement, met in February and was chaired by ACT's then deputy leader, Mrs Roy.

Mrs Roy was today stripped of the deputy leadership and her ministerial portfolios, including associate education.

ACT leader Rodney Hide picked up the associate education portfolio.

At the time Mrs Roy said she disliked the use of the word vouchers.

"In essence we are providing choice, we are not talking about vouchers here, we are talking about providing choice."

Previous National governments have looked at education vouchers but faced strong opposition from many in the sector as they feared money would be siphoned out of the public education system, or away from poorer schools.

In February, Education Minister Anne Tolley took a cautious approach to the suggested policy and said she would consider it.

Mr Key today said education vouchers were unlikely. Asked if could Mr Hide could get support for it, Mr Key said "probably not".




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