Updating the Education Act 1989

The education system has evolved significantly since the Education Act was passed in 1989. The update to the Act will create a more flexible and less prescriptive legislative framework that meets the needs of the schooling and early childhood education environment now and into the future.

Public consultation on updating the Act

Public consultation on the Update took place from 2 November to 14 December 2015. The consultation sought the public’s views on 15 specific questions under 5 proposals for change:

  • making sure everyone knows the goals for education;
  • supporting boards to focus on what’s important;
  • enabling collaboration, flexibility and innovation;
  • making every school and kura a great one; and
  • making best use of local education provision.

We held more than 120 meetings, workshops and presentations to collect direct feedback from members of the public, family and whānau, and the sector.

Report on the submissions

We released the report on the submissions at the Ministerial Cross-Sector Forum on Raising Achievement on 11 March 2016. At the forum we also asked for further feedback on possible changes to the planning and reporting framework and on boards’ roles and responsibilities

Next steps

  • The Minister will seek Cabinet approval on the changes she wishes to proceed with. An amendment Bill will be drafted and introduced later this year.
  • There will be an opportunity to comment on the contents of the Bill through a Select Committee process.
  • Legislation is expected to be passed in 2017

Further information


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