education.govt.nz

Focusing on what’s really important

Issue: Volume 99, Number 3

Posted: 27 February 2020
Reference #: 1HA5w6

The Kōrero Mātauranga/Education Conversation revealed a need for a more inclusive and equitable education system. But how do we achieve this?

Focusing on what's important

The Kōrero Mātauranga/Education Conversation saw well over 50,000 New Zealanders sharing their ideas and aspirations for education in New Zealand, through surveys, summits and face-to-face meetings.

The common message to emerge from Kōrero Mātauranga was concern about the wellbeing of our children. The consultation confirmed how important it is for children to have equity of access, to experience a sense of belonging, and to be included.

Among the 15 key themes identified from Kōrero Mātauranga was a clear focus on ensuring that learning is inclusive and equitable; that family, whānau and communities want more engagement in their children’s education; and a system that meets the needs of different learners.

But how do we take the Education Conversation to its next phase? How do we achieve a more inclusive and equitable education system?

Secretary for Education Iona Holsted says the Ministry of Education is being more selective about what it is asking of schools, early learning services and teachers. 

“We are trying to focus more deeply on a smaller number of things.

“It’s about being far more strategic about where we put our energy and what we ask of the system – because there’s an awful lot going on at any time and if we’re asking the system to respond to multiple messages it’s unlikely they’ll be able to focus on what’s really important.

“For example, we know that too many children and young people experience racism in school. We’re going to provide professional learning and development to teachers so they can understand their bias and have the tools and opportunities to address this.”

Another key priority area is ensuring disabled children and children with additional learning needs have access to a fully inclusive and equitable education.

The Education Secretary says the Ministry of Education can’t achieve this without the efforts of schools and early learning services at the local level. 

Schools that are working to increase engagement with their whānau and communities are helping to make a tangible difference for children, she says.

“We can set expectations but it’s what children experience every day that makes a difference.”

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

Posted: 1:45 pm, 27 February 2020

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