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National focused on lifting student achievement

Hon Anne Tolley
National Party
Spokeswoman for Education

21 November 2011 Media Statement
National focused on lifting student achievement

National’s education policy concentrates on lifting student achievement by improving the performance of the schooling system, to give every single young New Zealander the chance to succeed, says Education spokeswoman Anne Tolley.

“We are determined to increase accountability and give parents better information, from early childhood education through to primary and secondary schooling,” says Mrs Tolley.

“National will ensure that the important gains in education over the past three years are built upon, to increase participation in ECE, lift the reading, writing and maths skills for all children, and to engage students at risk of dropping out of the system.

“We will strengthen teaching and leadership, while the data from National Standards will help us target extra support for students and schools.

“We will also strengthen accountability and performance measurement. This includes making secondary school performance information available to parents, so they are informed about their child’s learning environment.

“The innovative online national Network for Learning will allow schools to take full advantage of ultra-fast broadband, to access the latest teaching and learning resources, and share knowledge with every student and teacher across New Zealand.

“We will maintain our sound management of early childhood education. We have set a target of 98 per cent of new entrants in schools having participated in early childhood education by 2015, and we will raise the number of qualified teachers from 67 per cent to 80 per cent by the end of 2012.

“National will also retain 20 Hours ECE and fee controls, which are highly valued by families.”

Other features in the education policy include:

• Improving the quality of initial teacher education

• More effective teacher and principal appraisals

• Intensive training to fast-track highly-qualified graduates into teaching

• Specialist tradespeople to be employed as teachers, to boost skills and trades training

• A review to reform and strengthen the Teachers Council, to provide better leadership

• An interactive website to help parents choose the best local ECE service.

“High-quality education is essential to support a skilled, productive workforce and to help grow our economy,” says Mrs Tolley.

“National will continue to reform the education system to make sure it works for all children, to give them the successful future they deserve and to give our country the 21st Century skills that we need.”

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