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New School Guidelines Emphasise Literacy

Education Minister Nick Smith today announced changes to the National Education Guidelines (NEGs) that give schools a clear direction that basic literacy and numeracy skills must be the priority in the first four years of schooling.

"There is no future for children in the new century who cannot read, write and do maths. This change will make it a requirement for all schools to put greater emphasis on these basic skills and is a key part of the Government's literacy and numeracy strategy."

The new National Education Guidelines (NEGs) will be gazetted tomorrow and will take effect next year. The Education Act requires all schools to comply with the Guidelines which have not been significantly changed since 1993. Accountability to the requirements of the National Education Guidelines is provided by the Education Review Office.

"We have created a pretty complex menu of subject material through the new national curriculum and the seven areas of learning. We wish to maintain that broad approach, but make it plain that achievement in literacy and numeracy must have the highest priority".

The changes in the National Education Guidelines deal with areas of the curriculum and assessment and the reporting of student progress and achievement and school strategic planning. They have been the subject of wide consultation with Trustees and Principals' organisations who have responded positively.

ENDS

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