National Education and Learning Priorities

The Education (Update) Amendment Bill (the Bill) proposes that the Minister of Education (the Minister) will be authorised to issue a statement of National Education and Learning Priorities which school boards of trustees will be required to take into account in their teaching and learning programmes and be accountable through their planning and reporting.

The current National Education Goals, which are intended to be statements of government policy objectives for the school system, are not very visible. The Government invests substantially in education, and has a significant interest in what education is provided, how it is provided, and accountability for what is being achieved.

The proposed statement of National Education and Learning Priorities will be issued by the Minister from time to time. When a new statement is made, this will be announced in the New Zealand Gazette in a process similar to that for the curriculum.

The Minister would be required to consult before announcing those priorities in a similar way to the Minister responsible for tertiary education’s consultation on the Tertiary Education Strategy. Lesser consultation requirements will be required if only minor or technical amendments are being made.

Boards will be required to give effect to the National Education and Learning Priorities when working towards their objective of ensuring that each student is able to achieve the highest standard of education and learning.

Sponsors of Partnership Schools will be required to ensure that, in the development and delivery of any curriculum by a school, the school has regard to the National Education and Learning Priorities.

Communities of Learning that have an agreement with the Secretary for Education will be required to take it into account the National Education and Learning Priorities when developing a plan. 

Further information

When will these changes take effect?

The Bill is expected to come into force in 2017. The Minister will be able to issue a statement of National Education and Learning Priorities as soon as the relevant consultation is complete.

Who must the Minister consult with?

The Minister must consult with those stakeholders in the early childhood and compulsory education sectors that he or she considers ought to be consulted.

What will the National Education and Learning Priorities be?

This will depend on the views of the Minister, the Government and the outcome of consultation with the school and early learning sectors. The priorities will be guided by the objectives for education which are also included in the Bill.

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