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National Party Education Policy Discussion Doc.

Joy Quigley, Independent Schools of New Zealand (ISNZ)

re: NATIONAL PARTY EDUCATION POLICY DISCUSSION DOCUMENT

The National Party is to be congratulated for 'Schools of Excellence', a discussion document that spurns political correctness in favour of achieving better results for students, increased personal satisfaction for teachers and a better future for New Zealand , the Independent Schools of New Zealand (ISNZ) said today.

ISNZ executive director Joy Quigley said better results come from schools where expectations are high, assessment is meaningful and parents have more control including the ability to move their child to another school if necessary, as advocated in the report.

New graduates and experienced workers will be encouraged to enter the teaching profession if they are rewarded with better pay and entrusted to inspire their students, rather than being constrained by box ticking and form filling. National's views on the role and regulation of teacher training institutions are headed in the right direction said Ms Quigley. New Zealand rightly celebrates creativity but we also desperately need more chemists and physicists, plumbers and mechanics, for instance, both in teaching and in their respective professions.

Concerns about teaching training are not just about the need for more or less phonics. ISNZ said it is much more about being aware and capable of using a combination of learning and teaching styles that work best for the individual child.

A 'one-size' classroom doesn't suit every child anymore than a 'one-size' education system suits an entire nation. ISNZ is most interested in public discussion on the National Party proposal of allowing full funding to non-state schools that do not charge tuition fees.

Joy Quigley said National's education policy discussion document is a most worthwhile contribution to the debate on two current core concerns: ensuring we continue to have a great teachers into the future and lifting the 'tail' of underachievers. Equally importantly it lifts us out of the failed policies of political correctness that downplayed the importance of success and values, and instead encourages us to trust teachers and parents and to embrace innovation and excellence, she said.

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