Bill will help improve education success for young NZers 15 Oct 2012
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Hon Hekia Parata
Minister of Education
15 October 2012
Bill will help improve education success for young New Zealanders
Education Minister Hekia Parata says the Education Amendment Bill, introduced today, includes a number of changes which will help improve education outcomes for learners.
“Changes to the Education Amendment Bill will provide more clarity for schools and Boards of Trustees, and ensure children’s needs remain the central focus for our educators,” says Ms Parata.
“School Boards of Trustees play a critical role and their number one priority should be raising student achievement. While many Boards have identified educational matters as their priority, this approach is not consistent across Boards.
“The expectation of Boards will now be clearer. The Bill ensures student achievement will become the critical consideration when a Board is performing its functions, powers and duties,” says Ms Parata.
The Bill also provides legislation for Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua. Partnership Schools will bring together the education, business and community sectors to provide new opportunities for students to achieve education success.
“We already have a number of different types of schools operating in New Zealand, such as state, integrated, or private schools. Partnership Schools will be another option for parents and students, giving them more freedom to choose the type of education that best suits their child’s needs.’’
Schools currently have the power to search students and seize property in specific circumstances. These provisions known as ‘surrender and retention’ are being clarified in the Bill.
“In turn, this will contribute towards learning environments that are both safe and conducive to positive student achievement.”
To support the provision of early childhood education the Bill will enable the Ministry of Education to assign a National Student Number to children at a much younger age.
“Children are currently assigned a National Student Number when they first attend an early childhood service or start school.
“Assigning a National Student Number to vulnerable children at a younger age will allow the Ministry of Education to work with other agencies to ensure these children participate in early childhood education,” says Ms Parata.
“Regular participation in quality early childhood education significantly increases a child’s chance of future educational success, particularly for children from vulnerable families.
The Bill also allows schools to be more flexible with their time tabling of the school day.
“This more flexible approach will be of benefit to those schools that have students participating in secondary-tertiary programmes, such as those offered by trade academies, or participating in the new Vocational Pathways.
“We have to consider new ideas to ensure children remain engaged and committed to getting a good education.’’
For more information go to www.minedu.govt.nz/EducationAmendmentBills
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