Education and Training Bill: Amending school board objectives

Currently, a school board’s primary objective in governing the school is to ensure that every student at its school is able to attain their highest possible standard in educational achievement.

In line with the Tomorrow School’s recommendations, clause 122 of the Bill refocuses boards on a wider range of objectives, with educational achievement sitting alongside three other, equally as important, primary objectives. These are for schools to ensure that:

  • every student is able to attain their highest possible standard in educational achievement;
  • the school is a physically and emotionally safe place for all students and staff, and gives effect to relevant student rights and takes all reasonable steps to eliminate racism, stigma, bullying, and any other forms of discrimination within the school;
  • the school is inclusive of caters for students with differing needs;
  • the school gives effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi by:
    • working to ensure that its plans, policies, and local curriculum reflect local tikanga Māori, mātauranga Māori and te ao Māori
    • taking all reasonable steps to make instruction available in te reo Māori and tikanga Māori; and
    • achieving equitable outcomes for Māori students.

School boards to give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi

The new objective relating to Te Tiriti o Waitangi will:

  • emphasise the importance of local history and practices;
  • challenge boards to improve the teaching of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori;
  • contribute to meeting the Crown’s duty to actively protect tino rangatiratanga rights; and
  • make a significant contribution to achieving the Crown’s Strategy for Māori Language Revitalisation 2018 – 2023 – Maihi Karauna.

It is proposed that the objective relating to Te Tiriti o Waitangi will come into force on 1 January 2021. This will provide schools with more time to become familiar with the changes required under this objective and prepare to give effect to them. It is proposed that the rest of the objectives come into force on the day after the Bill receives Royal assent.

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