Proposed amendments to Education and Training Bill

In December 2019, the Government introduced the Education and Training Bill. The Bill is the biggest rewrite of education legislation in decades.

The Bill brings all of the major legislation on early learning, schooling and tertiary education into a single statute. It supports the Government’s objectives for a learner-focused, high quality, culturally responsive and inclusive education system.

The Government is now proposing to amend the Bill. The amendments will support the education sector to recover from COVID-19, reduce the financial burden on institutions from the loss of international students, and future proof education for any emergencies.

Proposed amendments include:

  • Not requiring payment of the Export Education Levy for the 2020 and 2021 years to remove some of the financial burden on education providers affected by the loss of international students. That levy would not apply to enrolments in 2020 and 2021 and levies already paid would be refunded.
  • State and state-integrated schools being able to temporarily offer distance learning, including NCEA, to students based off-shore who enrolled with the school in 2020, on a case-by-case basis.
  • Postpone the expiry date of the Education (Pastoral Care of Domestic Tertiary Students) Interim Code of Practice until 1 January 2022. Tertiary providers would continue implementing the Interim Code which aims to improve the wellbeing of students. The delay allows more time to consult on the long-term Code. This has not been possible given COVID-19.
  • Providing the Secretary for Education with new powers to act when a state of emergency is in place. This includes the power to direct education entities to open and close , to restrict attendance, and to provide instruction through distance learning or online.
  • Delay the Bill’s provisions transferring development responsibility for school enrolment zones to the Ministry of Education, until 1 January 2021.
  • Enabling the Minister of Education to vary a tertiary funding determination, without a standdown period, in an emergency or epidemic. This will enable the Minister to quickly support the sector to recover from a state of emergency or an epidemic.

You can read more about these, and other proposed amendments, in this Cabinet Paper, and in the Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs) here:

Education and Training Bill Regulatory Impact Assessments and Supplementary Analysis Report

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