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


National launches schools policy

National launches schools policy

National Party Education spokesman Bill English says National wants a simplified, plain English curriculum for schools.

Mr English launched the party’s schools policy at a meeting of the Auckland Primary Principals Association this morning.

“When it comes to education ‘less is more’. Great teaching isn’t about once-over lightly. Great teachers teach less and do it better,” says Mr English.

“The current curriculum is too long-winded and complicated. For instance it lists 57 ‘essential skills’ that students should have. National wants a plain language curriculum so everyone can understand what schools are trying to teach. Just how they teach it is up to the professionals – the teachers in the classroom.

“We want a smaller, clearer curriculum. This will take the pressure off schools which feel compelled to be everything to everyone. Teachers need to be able to teach less and do a better job of it so students can learn.”

The policy also includes a “comprehensive package of measures designed to improve the performance of schools, including a major shift of decision-making away from centralised bureaucracy and back to schools and communities.

“We must empower good schools, good principals and good teachers to use their professional skills to provide our children with an outstanding education.”

Mr English also announced measures to increase parental choice by removing rigid zoning restrictions, removing the cap on integrated school rolls and easing the squeeze on independent schools.

The policy also includes:

- A fundamental overhaul of the NCEA and reintroduction of demanding scholarship exams where students are ranked and given meaningful grades.

- Providing parents with better information.

- Cutting back assessment so there is more time for teachers to teach and students to learn.

- The introduction of national literacy and numeracy standards where schools will be held accountable for ensuring their pupils reach them.

- Reading and maths vouchers provided to the parents of children who do not meet national standards by the age of seven. This will allow parents to ensure their children catch up.

- Slashed education bureaucracy through the decentralisation of school management. The savings will be used to attract and retain outstanding teachers.

- State schools being allowed to convert to ‘Trust Schools’ with more independence from bureaucratic oversight.

- Support for the expansion of integrated schools where there is demand.

- Increased parental choice through the ending of rigid zoning restrictions.

The full policy can be viewed at


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages