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Education – the next steps forward

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Education
MP for Hutt South

3 July 2002
Education – the next steps forward
A Labour-led government after the election will continue its programme to lift the standard of education for all New Zealanders.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced Labour’s new policy initiatives for its second term.

“We’re striving for excellence,” Trevor Mallard said.

“And we will continue work to remove the disparities exacerbated by the previous government’s policies.

“Work in our first term has been around policies to reverse the market-rules focus of the1990s and establishing the foundation for a fairer and more secure education system.

“During our second term we will build on those foundations. For example, implementing the recommendations of the school staffing review group will mean 3000 extra teachers, above roll growth, by 2006/07. Labour will work closely with the new Teachers Council to improve the quality of initial teacher education and ongoing professional development.

“Additional initiatives will include more support for gifted and talented students and an accelerated student loan repayment system for teachers as an alternative to government subsidies on superannuation contributions.

“We will also continue work to reduce disparities in educational achievement with policies including extending the Suspension Reduction Initiative – which has helped reduce suspensions; rolling out successful initiatives like the early childhood primary links work, which has boosted literacy; and increasing the number of teen parent support programmes.

“Our commitment to secondary education includes 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.

In early childhood education, we will be releasing our response to the Strategic Plan working group next month. It will include a commitment to increasing staff:child ratios and reducing group sizes by 2006 and a continued focus on lifting the qualifications of teachers in the sector.”

Trevor Mallard said Labour in government had made significant progress in establishing the foundation for innovation and opportunity through education.

“In contrast, the Opposition is proposing a return to the failed policies of the 90s. We are focusing on improving teaching and learning. National is focusing on administrative systems to suit their own market-rules philosophies,” Trevor Mallard said.

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