Education Act update generates fantastic public response

Issue: Volume 95, Number 5

Posted: 21 March 2016
Reference #: 1H9d0v

Responses to the discussion document came from a wide range of groups.

The Ministry of Education’s discussion document seeking comment on updating the Education Act 1989 generated a fantastic public response.

Over 1,800 submissions were received during the six-week consultation period. Many were from parents, educators and students. Responses also came from sector groups, boards of trustee members, and iwi, whānau and family members. Many people attended one of the 120 meetings on the update, held throughout the country.

The responses show that New Zealanders want their children to succeed academically, to be prepared for work and for life, and to be helped to become good citizens. They also want their children’s cultural heritage to be recognised and valued.

The responses showed a variety of options for the goals of education and the roles and responsibilities of boards of trustees that could be put into the Act. Cohort entry, where schools enrol groups of new entrants on set dates, received support from many respondents.

There was agreement on the need to simplify school planning and reporting cycles. Some submitters also favoured more collaboration between school boards and between schools and early childhood education services. ‘Student progress’ was seen by many respondents as the most important measure of school performance. Making attendance compulsory where a child starts school before age six also gained strong support.

The Ministry asked for further feedback on possible changes to the planning and reporting framework for schools and to board’s roles and responsibilities at the Ministerial Cross-Sector Forum on Raising Achievement on 11 March 2016.

You can read material on these proposals here: Education website(external link)

You can also give us feedback on these possible changes through upcoming regional cross-sector forums and by emailing:

We will need any feedback by Friday 8 April.

A report on the submissions can be found at Education website(external link)

Following the feedback we receive, the Minister of Education will seek Cabinet approval of the changes she wishes to proceed with. An amendment Bill will then be drafted and introduced later this year. There will be an opportunity to comment on the contents of the Bill through a Select Committee process. Legislation is expected to be passed in 2017.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 11:05 pm, 21 March 2016

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