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Capability focus right in education sector report

Capability focus right in education sector report

The Public Service Association (PSA) agrees with the findings of the review calling on the government to strengthen education sector agencies, rather than waste time and money restructuring them.

The review of the secondary schooling and tertiary education roles of the Ministry of Education, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) was released this afternoon by State Services Minister Trevor Mallard. PSA members work at each of these agencies.

PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott said members support the report’s recommendation that more effort and resources needs to invested in building core capability at each of the agencies.

“The Ministry of Education, NZQA and the TEC have been through big reorganisations and have been given new responsibilities. We are pleased that this report confirms the vision of the tertiary reforms and the move to standards based assessment. The last thing schools, tertiary providers and the staff working for the three agencies need is a radical departure from current policy settings.

“This report quite clearly and succinctly demolishes claims by opposition parties that these agencies are overstaffed. Nor does it engage in the ritual and unproductive hunt for people to blame for the problems that have emerged in secondary and tertiary education.

“All three agencies have clearly been seriously stretched implementing new and complex policies. Going forward it is clear that the government will actually have to put new resources and infrastructure in place.

“We are pleased that the report has picked up a number of the recommendations our members made, particularly the urgent need to provide stronger clarity of the roles of the three agencies and to build stronger internal capability. Greater leadership by the Ministry of Education will improve policy and monitoring advice to government and strengthen the funding and assessment framework.

“It will be vital to develop a new human resource strategy as part of the response to this review. Issues like career development and employment conditions are fundamental to any discussion about the future development of the agencies.

“We advise the government to move quickly to address the issues raised in this report because we believe it is vital to restore public confidence in the secondary and tertiary education systems,” Brenda Pilott said.

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