Larger classes only for the peasants

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, May 30th, 2012 - 34 comments
Categories: class war, education - Tags:

So, half the Cabinet sends their kids to private schools. Those schools – which National has upped the taxpayers subsidies for – boast of small class sizes. Kings, where Key sends his kid, says: “Class sizes are limited and our policy of a low pupil-to-teacher ratio ensures students are given greater individual attention in the classroom”. Guess larger classes are only good for the peasants’ kids.

34 comments on “Larger classes only for the peasants”

  1. So, half the Cabinet sends their kids to private schools.

    Only half? Does the other half not have kids, or are they some kind of closet “cultural Marxists?”

    • Carol 1.1

      From the linked article:

      A Herald survey of ministers found that at least seven of the sixteen Cabinet ministers with school-aged children sent all or some of their children to private schools. Four ministers refused to say where their children attended or could not respond, and five ministers said they had enrolled their kids in state schools.

      So, only 5 “closet Marxists”? Not Gerry Brownlee or Paula Benefit, surely?
      And Parata a semi-Marxists sent her kids to a mix of schools including state and Maori immersion.

      Name and shame?

      John Key
      State school (Burnside High School)
      Children: Private

      Bill English
      Private (St Patrick’s Silverstream)
      Children: Private

      Gerry Brownlee
      Private (St Bede’s College in Christchurch)
      Children: State

      Steven Joyce
      State (Spotswood College in New Plymouth and Kapiti College)
      Children: Too young

      Judith Collins
      State (Matamata College)
      Children: Would not say

      Tony Ryall
      State (would not say)
      Children: Would not say

      Hekia Parata
      State (Ngata Memorial College)
      Children: State

      Chris Finlayson
      Private (St Patrick’s Silverstream)
      No children

      Paula Bennett
      State (Taupor-nui-a-tai College)
      Children: State

      David Carter
      Private (St Bede’s College in Christchurch)
      Children: Private

      Murray McCully
      State (Dargaville High School)
      Children: Private

      Anne Tolley
      Colenso High, Napier
      Children: Both State and Private

      Jonathan Coleman
      State school – Auckland Grammar School
      Children: Too young

      Tim Groser
      State (Hutt Valley High School)
      No response

      Phil Heatley
      State (would not say)
      Children: Private

      Kate Wilkinson
      Private (St Margaret’s College)
      No children

      Nathan Guy
      State (Waiopehu College)
      Children: State

      Craig Foss
      State (Naenae College)
      Children: Would not say

      Amy Adams
      State (Rangitoto College)
      Children: Private

      Chris Tremain
      State (Napier Boys High School)
      Children: State

      • Uturn 1.1.1

        Ahhhh, it warms my heart that a sizeable chunk of Nats will not only sacrifice other’s children on the altar of ideology, but will lead by example and stealthily attack the powerless within their own families. Though there is always the chance they are bludging off the state until a legislative change and will then switch. Looks like one Minister even wins the award for chosing who will succeed: one child private, one state. A commendably divisive in-home experiment in fuedalism. Good work that Nat!

      • fascist-anti-fascist. 1.1.2

        Carol, you show a lack of concern for the safety and privacy of these innocent kids by identifying their schools in a ‘name and shame’ list. They didn’t endorse their parents’ politics, so why do you want to victimize them? How would you feel if someone used that information to harm some kid who didn’t do anything wrong?

        [The word “facist” is probably one of our spam triggers, so I suspect every time you comment it will be held in moderation. I suggest a new handle that doesn’t use the word. — r0b]

        • felix

          Put it away mate.

          No-one named any children or their schools. No-one accused any children of anything at all.

          And anyway Carol was simply quoting a major newspaper, which you would know if you had bothered to read the post. Take your translucent sanctimony to The Herald’s site and whinge at them.

          • Teach this

            I guess you don’t have kids, Felix.

            If you did, you might show a little less snappiness to reject the obvious danger that Carol has put them in. It is reasonable to expect that the children have the same name as their parents and – regardless of where she got the information – Carol has helped to identify the children’s schools by listing them here with the names of their parents and schools.

            What danger, you ask? I’d say there are lots of angry people who have lost their jobs because of these people’s parents. The kids, could be bullied by fellow students, or other fanatical Labour supporters or teachers who have been sacked by the recent cuts might even go looking for revenge against them.

            It doesn’t matter if she hasn’t actively accused the children in question of anything; Carol has helped to make them potential targets.

            • Pascal's bookie

              So you are saying that Carol, by repeating info that was in the Herald which simply says that the children are in private schools, is somehow identifying those children to people at the unnamed schools?

              Excuse me if I think you are clutching your pearls somewhat au.

            • Colonial Viper

              If you did, you might show a little less snappiness to reject the obvious danger that Carol has put them in.

              I thought the list came from the NZ Herald?

              What danger, you ask? I’d say there are lots of angry people who have lost their jobs because of these people’s parents. The kids, could be bullied by fellow students, or other fanatical Labour supporters

              The Right Wing recognise the existence of community, and apparently FEARS IT

              • Carol

                Agreed, CV. And thanks, Felix & PB.

                I guess that the poster with the changing name has also complained as vehemently to the NZ Herald for publishing that info? Or maybe s/he thinks the Standard has a much wider circulation?

                Made the children a target with who? Other children and parents at the private schools? Really?

                If others knew who the children of the above Nats were, they didn’t get any help from me in knowing that. And presumably every time the Nat parent does something unpopular they are making their children a target? – especially when the unpopular actions target less well-off children unfairly.

                I’m sure the above poster, who is so concerned about children being made targets, also complained strongly about the way the education for some children has been made an negative target by the education cuts in the latest budget.

                I’m sure such children will be continuing to suffer disadvantages when the cabinet ministers’ children are continuing to benefit from their privileged education.

      • felix 1.1.3

        Haha I love the “would not say” responses.

        As if anyone would think, even for a moment, that Judith Collins and Tony Ryall would send their entitled progeny to mingle with the lower classes.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    Cut the student-teacher ratio, do a backdoor deal to allow/force schools to raise the extra cash from the parents.

    Nek Minnit- the schools are ‘motivated by market forces’

  3. insider 3

    St bedes and st pats are integrated schools not private. Their teachers are paid by the state in line with state ratios, so changes to funding formulas will definitely have an impact. But pointing that out in the story would have meant introducing more than one idea into it and some explanation and research….

    • prism 3.1

      Thanks for that info insider – if I want to know more details of matters affecting the right wingers I will ask you to give us the better background.

    • Zetetic 3.2

      When those ministers went there, they were private

  4. Carol 4

    And are all state schools equal? e.g. what about status state schools like Jonathan Coleman’s old school, Auckland Grammar ?
    ….especially when they practice streaming.

    The School started the year with 2489 students and 147 teachers,

    The Old Boys’ Association, Headmaster’s Council and Foundation Trust work magnificently for the good of the School and add greatly to our facilities and resources.

    I am also appreciative of the generosity of our Grammar families who contribute so well to our various fundraising ventures and in paying the annual school donation. Without this support we simply could not afford to provide the facilities or the educational environment that our boys enjoy at Auckland Grammar School.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      That gives a pupil teacher ratio of 16.9.
      They obviously fund quite a few teachers out of the high fee/donations they charge.
      As well there is full fee paying students which the schools gets to keep a portion, and is normally spent on extra teachers

  5. just saying 5

    I understood Bennett’s kids are adults, and would have been at school at a time when she couldn’t have afforded to send them to private schools.
    It looks like (including a large portion of the the ‘would not say’*) about 80 percent.

    *And where do they get off. This is a legitimate question, they didn’t need to disclose which school thereby potentially affecting the privacy of their kids. This is a potential conflict of interest issue under the circumstances.

    • Zetetic 5.1

      Yeah, she’s just got the one daughter, who just be in her twenties by now

  6. It would be interesting to see a similar survey covering MPs from other parties.

    • Fortran 6.1


      Look forward to seeing the other parties schools list.

      David Cunliffe’s son goes to Kings with Key’s son.

      • Anne 6.1.1

        David Cunliffe and Labour (or the Greens) are not introducing controversial laws that undermine the state sector schools while ensuring the private/elite schools remain unaffected. Indeed, Shearer is on record saying they will repeal the laws.

        I think you will find that if the whole Nat. caucus was included, some 70 to 80% of their kids went/go (or are enrolled to go) to private schools. And I think you would also find that the state schools the rest went/go to, are in the decile 10 catagory.

    • fabregas4 6.2

      Why’s that – other parties worked to decrease class sizes not increase them.

  7. Pete 7

    For the record, these measures are a dumb idea from a morally and intellectual bankrupt government. But it doesn’t really sit easy with me to examine their kids’ lives even in a cursory way like this. It’s not their fault that their parents are no-talent ass-clowns and they still deserve a modicum of privacy. Anyway, given that MPs move frequently back and forth between their constituencies and Wellington, a boarding school might not be such a bad idea for their kids.

    • ianmac 7.1

      Pete: Like Bill English does living in Southland and spending some of the time in Wellington. It is tough dragging the kids backwards and forwards.

  8. Enough is Enough 8

    This is the privatisation of our education system in motion.

    If you are a hard working kiwi and want your kids to have the best opportunity available to them, the Nats are ensuring the state cannot provide it. You will have to take a second job, work the weekend or just send them to an under resoursed school where they will battle with 40 other kids for the teachers attention.

    Follow the money. Who is going to profit from this privatisation. Like the prisons, follow the money.

    This illegitimate government is destroying this nation. Can they not see the riots on the streets in London and Europe that will be here in 12 months if they contibue to fight this agressive destructive war against the workers of Aotearoa. You can only push us so far Key

  9. grumpy 9

    Anyone done the same survey with the MPs from other parties? might be interesting…….

    • fabregas4 9.1

      Its not interesting – no other part has worked to increase class sizes – only Key’s National Party.

    • Enough is Enough 9.2

      Grumpy you dumb fuck. That is irellevant.

      As I have pointed out above the changes that are being implemented are forcing parents arms to send their kids to private schools. You can’t blame parents from doing that, including opposition MP’s who have kids.

      What you can do is blame the fascist arseholes who are making the changes while confirming they are shit changes by not putting their kids into the system they are creating.

  10. irascible 10

    Heatley and his sister attended Kamo High School, Whangarei. Strange that he won’t say which state school he attended…. one wonders why.

  11. Hulun Phallis 11

    [Bunji: banned commentator]

    • Te Reo Putake 11.1

      A devastating critique of this Government’s commitment to wealth distribution to the already wealthy, Hulun. Did your lips move when you wrote it?

    • Reagan Cline 11.2

      The few parents of my childrens friends who send them to private schools say they see an advantage to them in mixing with the people who go to private schools and send their children.
      Educational factors take second place to social factors in their thinking.

      This tells their children IMO that they are not capable of following their career preference without the support of private school friends and parents. That is a comfort to some, but to others it brings a life-long burden of expectation.

      There can also be a difficulty in the child’s mind because on the one hand their parents say they are individuals with a right to do what they like to be successful and on the other hand that the best way to achieve this is to be part of the private school community.

      Awareness of the social and schooling background of people who could influence career prospects
      becomes important. People can hide their backgrounds to gain advantage.

      The private public separation is very powerful in NZ. The public tradition is associated with the left and private with right. People from both backgrounds work together all the time in NZ and teachers change from one sector to the other, so the separation has a porous boundary.

      I think the ethic of self advancement in the service of others is important, as long as you can earn an adequate living, support dependants and be secure in old age.

      This is where it has gone wrong. Too many people, private and public schooled can not do this, even by their best efforts, leading to fear, despair, suspicion, resentment and hatred.

  12. Ed 12

    That nice Mr Farrar at Kiwiblog pointed out that from 2002 to 2012 the school population has gone up only 2.5%, while the number of teachers went up by 12.76%

    Whether he is comparing apples and pears (or numbers of heads including part timers with FTE’s, or whether there have been definition changes (including say advisers as teachers in one year and not another), but if true, perhaps we have, un-noticed, had a massive improvement in teacher / student ratios without anyone noticing.

    So where is the spin? Does anyone really know?

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      That nice Mr Farrar at Kiwiblog pointed out that from 2002 to 2012 the school population has gone up only 2.5%, while the number of teachers went up by 12.76%

      Surely he meant this as a good thing, right? Right?

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