Thursday, May 23, 2024

New education priorities aim to lift achievement

Education Minister, Erica Stanford, has today outlined six education priorities aimed at delivering a world-leading education system for New Zealand children.

“I’m putting ambition, achievement and outcomes at the heart of our education system. I want every child to be inspired and engaged in their learning so they can achieve to the best of their ability and gain skills and qualifications that will support them into further study and employment,” Ms Stanford said.

“Children and young people at school today are New Zealand’s future. Receiving a world-leading education not only sets children up for success, it sets New Zealand up for success – economically and socially.

“But our declining achievement statistics clearly show that the school system is not delivering for all students. To turn this around, we need to make fundamental changes, including getting back to basics.”

The Government’s six education priorities are:

  • Clearer curriculum: Establishing a knowledge-rich curriculum grounded in the science of learning.
  • Better approach to literacy and numeracy: Implementing evidence-based instruction in early literacy and mathematics.
  • Smarter assessment and reporting: Implementing consistent modes of monitoring student progress and achievement.
  • Improved teacher training: Developing the workforce of the future, including leadership development pathways.
  • Stronger learning support: Targeting effective learning support interventions for students with additional needs.
  • Greater use of data: Using data and evidence to drive consistent improvement in achievement.

“These priorities are focused on lifting achievement and reflect the changes our Government has already made in education, including the requirement to teach one hour a day of reading, writing and maths in primary and intermediate school, and the ban of cellphone use in classrooms,” said the Minister.

“We have set an ambitious target to reach 80% of Year 8 students at or above the expected curriculum level for their age in reading, writing and maths by December 2030.

“Since becoming the Minister, I have met with several Māori education representatives and organisations. Expectations for strengthened educational outcomes and achievement for tamariki and rangatahi Māori is a shared bottom line.

“With that in mind, it is my intention to work collaboratively with Māori education representatives and organisations to develop a Māori education work programme. Initially, the focus will be on enhancing achievement, attendance, engagement.”

For parents, these priorities will give them confidence their children are receiving quality education that will set them up for future success in further study or employment, the Minister said.

“Ultimately this will result in an education system where all students are getting quality learning and skills to succeed no matter where they live, our teachers are supported with a detailed national curriculum parents are aware of their child’s progress, and evidence-based supports and interventions are provided where they are needed.”

“Over the coming months I will be introducing work programmes in each of these key areas, the first of which will be announced later this week,” she said.

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