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Excellence for schools

Hon Trevor Mallard

Minister of Education

MP for Hutt South

3 July 2002

Excellence for schools

Labour will continue to support schools to provide quality and innovative education, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

“Our policy allows for flexibility in schools. At the same it recognises the responsibility that central government has to ensure safety, standards and fairness in the wider education system,” Trevor Mallard says.

“We also have a role to ensure that support is given to extend pilots that make a positive difference to other areas of the country.

“That’s why we’ll be building on the successful work in Mangere and Otara which showed better professional links between early childhood and primary schools led to improved literacy rates in schools. We’ll also be rolling out the Suspension Reduction Initiative to other regions. That programme has helped reduce suspensions - particularly in Maori and Pacific communities.

“The policy also contains a commitment to increasing the use of sound research to determine what is working in our education system - and having the courage to discard practices and programmes which are not

Other aspects of the policy which impact on schools are:

- Extending the Early Numeracy Project 2001 to all year 1 - 3 students

- Expanding the use of literacy and numeracy assessment tools to years 8, 9 and 10

- Establishing a central records database to track children’s attendance at school.

- Continuing to grow the use of ICT-based learning such as video-conferencing, to ensure students in remote areas have access to specialist teaching which is not available locally.

- Establishing a Secondary Education Advisory Group to identify the key factors in a successful system in 2010 and beyond so we can shape policy to lead the world in teaching and learning.

- Working with the NZ Teachers Council and teacher education providers to define specific areas of skill and knowledge that are required for registration of graduating teachers. These include, but are not limited to, currency of knowledge in literacy and numeracy teaching, special and gifted education.

- Encouraging teacher education providers to develop advanced qualifications based on action-research in classroom settings.

Trevor Mallard said there was a deliberate push to increase standards through the professional development of staff.

“The quality of the staff makes a huge difference to the standards in schools and we need to ensure that all staff have the skills to help children reach their potential through education,” Trevor Mallard said.

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