education.govt.nz

Education Legislation Bill introduced

Issue: Volume 94, Number 22

Posted: 7 December 2015
Reference #: 1H9cyZ

The Bill gives school principals, where Boards agree, the ability to manage more than one school. This has been possible since 2000, but only for schools with a combined board of trustees. The Bill gives schools with separate Boards the same opportunity. Schools taking up this option will be able to seek support from NZSTA and the Ministry.

The Bill gives schools the ability to vary their opening hours. Currently, a school must be open for instruction for a minimum of four hours, consisting of a two hour block before noon and a two hour block after noon. School boards, after consultation with parents, staff and the community would be able to vary when the two blocks of two hours can be taken without seeking the Minister of Education’s prior consent.

This recognises that schools are increasingly seeking more flexibility to fit in with the wider range of learning options available to their students. Before making a change, boards would need to be satisfied that it would not result in students spending less time in school than other students in comparable and other local schools.

The Bill allows licensed home-based education and care services to provide early childhood education and out-of-school care services for children aged 13 years and under, at the same time.

This change is subject to limits on the number of children, the delivery of a quality curriculum, the maintenance of stringent adult-to-child ratios and existing regulations around safety and the provision of quality learning environments.

The Bill also makes a number of other amendments, including:

  • enabling the use of the national student number for the purpose of establishing and maintaining student identities to support student participation in online learning
  • enabling the State Services Commissioner to approve terms and conditions, in addition to, but not inconsistent with, those in a collective agreement; with this power then able to be delegated to the Secretary for Education
  • the removal of unnecessary operational specifications relating to the Secretary for Education’s provision of a payroll service for school boards
  • enabling tertiary education institutions to sponsor partnership schools.

The Bill updates the Ngarimu VC and 28th (Maori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Act 1945, to ensure the Fund’s Board can continue to support and celebrate Māori educational achievement, and the Pacific Islands Polynesian Education Foundation Act 1972, to ensure the Foundation can operate more flexibly and efficiently.

People will be invited to make a submission to the Select Committee on these, and other, matters in the Bill, once a date is confirmed. Detailed information about the Bill, including a link to the Bill, is available at:
www.education.govt.nz/legislation/education-legislation-bill(external link)

 

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 8:47 pm, 7 December 2015

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