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Education Bill to raise standards

12 December 2008
   Media Statement

Education Bill to raise standards

Measures introduced into Parliament today will raise standards of achievement and attendance in schools, says Education Minister, Anne Tolley.

The Education (National Standards) Amendment Bill gives the Minister of Education the power to set national standards in literacy and numeracy. National Standards will create a set of shared expectations about what students should be achieving as they move through primary and intermediate school.

Clear national standards in reading, writing, and numeracy will be negotiated with the education sector. Secondly, all primary schools will be required to use assessment programmes that compare the progress of their students with those standards. Schools will be able to choose from a range of tools including existing ones. Thirdly, parents will have the right to see all assessment information and receive regular plain English reports about their child’s progress towards national standards.

“I want to stress to all involved that this legislation only gives me the power to set the standards. In the New Year, the Ministry of Education will be leading a consultation round with the education sector about the design of the standards, the benchmarks that will need to be in place for assessment tools and the form of reporting to parents, communities and the government.

“This will allow the standards to be published later in 2009, ready for implementation at the beginning of 2010.”

The Bill also amends the Education Act provisions on school attendance. It raises the maximum level of fine that can be imposed when parents fail to enrol their child at school and when they fail to ensure their child attends school. The Bill will also make it easier for the Ministry of Education to take prosecutions in situations when schools do not take action. Prosecuting parents will remain a last resort option.

“Together, these measures will help ensure that New Zealand children attend school as required and that they are equipped with the skills and qualifications they need to succeed and make valuable contributions to their communities, the economy, and society.”




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