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Preliminary report on national ‘Education Conversation’

Hon Chris Hipkins

Minister of Education

11 July 2018

The national conversation to develop a vision for the future of education, and on making changes to education, is proving ‘hugely popular’ with teachers, principals, parents, young people, and communities, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

“More than 14,000 New Zealanders have told us, via our online survey, how we can help every learner to be successful, and about the education changes they want to see,” Chris Hipkins said.

“This is a great response. It shows people are keen to have a say in the future of our education system and how important education is to all New Zealanders.”

Mr Hipkins has released an initial report on the themes from the responses looked at so far. These include:

• No students should be disadvantaged due to financial or family circumstances

• Children with additional learning needs require more funding and support

• Students should be resilient, capable, resourceful, independent, socially competent and curious

• Students need recognising for their contribution to family/whānau, hapu, iwi, and community

• Students need to be able to think critically, innovate, respect others, and take responsibility. They need good communication skills, and strong foundation skills in literacy and numeracy

• Young people feel there is too much focus on assessments; this is a burden on them and their teachers.

• Many parents identified reducing bullying as a priority

• Teachers need better remuneration and to have better supporting staff and strategies to improve teaching practice

• Many felt the curriculum should focus on progress rather than testing or benchmarking

• Differences in achievement between Māori and Pacific students and Pākehā need addressing, and there should be better teaching of Māori culture and history. Some felt te reo Māori should be compulsory, at least in primary schools.

“Parents made up just under 4370 – or almost 40 percent - of the responses, making them the largest group of participants. This is great to see, given just how busy parents lives are. It shows how important they see their children’s education,” Mr Hipkins said.

“Replies from 488 principals, or almost 10 percent of the total number of New Zealand principals, were amongst those analysed in the initial report. Responses were also received from over 3800 teachers, and from over 1300 primary and secondary school students. And Māori made up 14 percent of the initial responses looked at.

“While this is a fantastic response, we want more of you to have your say. The Education Conversation is a once in a generation chance to create an education system for all our children and young people.

“The survey closes at the end of July, and I’m particularly interested in hearing from those whose needs are not well served by the current education system, such as Māori and Pasifika, and those in need of additional learning support,” Chris Hipkins said.

Note to editors:

The online survey asks four questions about the future of our education system:

• What does a successful student of the future look like to you?

• What will they need to know and be able to do?

• What things need to be in place to make sure every learner is successful?

• If you were the boss of education in New Zealand, what would you do first?


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