Well, there can’t be any doubt now, Anne Tolley is this government’s worst minister. A failure that stands out among failures.
She had an Auckland university pay to take her on a chopper ride because she didn’t understand what was meant by getting a “helicopter view of the sector”. She complained to her advisors about being forced to met Vice-Chancellors; ‘I’m the minister, I should be meeting Chancellors, not their deputies’. She nearly fired 700 teachers by accident, not understanding the jobs were filled. She slashed night classes while boosting funding for private schools. She has pushed through national standards against the advice and desire of everyone – teachers, principals, education experts, parents – and made a total hash of the politics of it.
Now, we learn that two schools in Dunedin are open, with paid staff, but no students because Tolley didn’t get around to doing the paperwork to close them. The schools want to close, the community wants them to close, the kids have gone elsewhere. But becuase Tolley didn’t get around to starting the formal process that goes with closing a school in time, these schools will remain open and staffed for months.
Is Tolley really the best National can do? I know they want to keep her on because otherwise there’ll only be one woman on their frontbench but, seriously, our kids’ education is too important to be left at the mercy of this useless minister.