Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Stronger focus on teaching and learning

23 February 2004 Media Statement

Stronger focus on teaching and learning

Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today that a moratorium on new school network reviews would be put in place for the next five years to enable the government to strengthen its focus on quality teaching and learning for all students.

"I have listened to feedback about the current rate of change, and I've decided there should be a moratorium for five years to enable consolidation in the sector and a smooth implementation of the current round of reviews," Trevor Mallard said.

"A considerable amount of energy and hard work has been taken up by the sector and the government on the network review process and I have decided to strengthen the focus on quality teaching and learning across the education system as the proposed changes are bedded in.

"Research will also be carried out on the implementation and educational outcomes of the recent network reviews, as they take effect, to ensure that we remain on track to fulfil our goal of improving the quality of education for students through creating strong school networks.

"The exception to this moratorium will be where concerns about educational quality are raised as a result of adverse Education Review Office (ERO) reports, where two or more schools themselves ask to be reviewed with the aim of strengthening the quality of education provided to local students, and where schools apply for a change in structure. Under these circumstances savings from any closures or mergers will be returned to local education, as with the current review process.

"I believe that mergers make good financial and educational sense in areas where populations are declining to the extent that schools are becoming unviable, and valuable education money is being wasted on un-used bricks and mortar.

"This moratorium will not affect the schools which are currently under review in 11 areas around the country. These schools are nearly at the end of the process, and in many cases are already looking ahead to their stronger school network.

"I have been listening very carefully to feedback from the current consultation round. I expect the final decisions about these areas will be made in April so any changes are in place in time for the 2005 school year.

"There are ongoing discussions on details for staff involved and on the shape of the system structure especially around transition points.

"This round of reviews has been a stressful time for all involved and I want to make sure that nothing puts the success of these reviews at risk as we move into implementation. I want the Ministry of Education to fully concentrate on this job at hand so we get the best results educationally for the students concerned.

"This year also marks other milestones in education which also require energy and focus. It is the final year of implementation of the NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) with the introduction of Level 3 and it's important this goes smoothly after the success of last year.

"Secondary and primary schools are also for the first time this year fulfilling the requirements of the new planning and reporting system. This system provides important benchmarks for student outcomes so schools can measure improvements and the progress they are making in lifting student achievement.

"I must stress that school closures and mergers have been happening for years, under previous governments as well, as population changes take place. On average over the past ten years around 20 schools have closed or merged annually.

"I note that National has said recently it will review any school with 30 per cent spare capacity, any school with an adverse (ERO) report, and any school with sole charge teachers," Trevor Mallard said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election