Government releases its three-year education work programme

Issue: Volume 97, Number 4

Posted: 12 March 2018
Reference #: 1H9hqW

Minister seeks broad engagement on the future of the education system, including holding an Education Summit in May.

The Government has released details of its extensive three-year education work programme to develop an education system that meets the needs of the 21st century from early learning through tertiary and beyond.

The work programme, which maps out how the Government will realise its vision for education, includes:

  • the NCEA review 
  • a review of Tomorrow’s Schools
  • developing a future-focused Education Workforce Strategy
  • a continuous focus on raising achievement for Māori and Pasifika learners
  • development of a strategic pathway for Māori-medium education
  • an action plan for learning support
  • an early learning strategic plan
  • a comprehensive review of school property
  • a programme of change for vocational education
  • a full review of the Performance Based Research Fund
  • better support for the research aspirations of our tertiary sector

The work programme announcement included the first details of a more collaborative approach to developing the education system, including an Education Summit to be held in May and a wider national conversation about what New Zealanders want their education system to look like.

Making the announcement on 21 February, the Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, said:
“New Zealand has an education system to be proud of, but as the way we work and live continues to rapidly change, so too do the demands on our education system. Over the next three years, we can make significant progress in changing our education system to provide for all New Zealanders.

“The education system should bring out the best in everyone, providing all New Zealanders with learning opportunities so they can discover and develop their full potential, engage fully in society, and lead rewarding and fulfilling lives.”

For the 21st century, Mr Hipkins says the system needs to be inclusive and able to adapt to the needs of the modern world. It needs to engage every learner in a much more personalised learning experience.

Mr Hipkins stressed that achieving successful change would not happen “by dictating what ought to be done”. He is seeking broad engagement across the sector and the community as part of the change process.

“I want to work with the education system and all its participants in a more collaborative way to set the direction of travel and agree shared priorities for education – from early learning, schooling and tertiary through to lifelong learning.”

This collaboration will see engagement with children, young people and adult learners, their parents, whānau, communities, Māori and Pasifika, teachers, researchers and education leaders at all levels, disability organisations and employers and industry.

There is a specific need for deep engagement with Māori and Pacific peoples, the disabled and those with extra learning difficulties.

The Ministry will start the national conversation through an online public survey which is intended for launch around mid-March. The survey, which will feature just a few easy-to-answer questions, will be given the widest possible promotion to ensure the best possible response from all parts of the education community.

The Education Summit

The Education Summit will follow with two events – in Christchurch on 5-6 May and in Auckland on 12-13 May. Participants will be invited by the Minister. The events are being held at weekends, as this is more convenient for the wide range of New Zealanders expected to participate.

The events are expected to be followed by regional meetings, hui and fono and more organic local conversations held in schools and communities.

The Summit is the keystone of the broader national conversation, providing an opportunity for representatives of the full range of groups and interests that have a stake in the education system to come together and share their concerns, challenges and hopes for the future.

Stakeholder groups will work with Ministry of Education staff and the Ministry’s community networks to identify participants for the Summit. The Ministry is taking this approach to ensure a broad representation of the education sector and the community, including input from new voices.

Stakeholders are being approached to provide input into the design of the Summit, including the teaching profession and the wider education sector, young people, Māori and Pacific peoples’ organisations, and from disabled children and young people and their parents and whānau.

We will be publishing further details about the online survey, the Summit and the wider engagement process in the coming weeks through the Ministry’s website, and will be publicising this widely through stakeholder groups and social media.

Impact on policy

The results and views that come through the online survey, along with the output from the Summit deliberations and post-Summit discussions will inform the various parts of the education work programme.

Each of the workstreams that make up the education work programme will include explicit consideration of the impact for Māori and Pasifika learners, supporting provision through Māori medium education and students who are disabled or have additional learning support needs.

The integrity of the process will be monitored by a Touchstone Group being established by the Minister of Education. This group will ensure the work of the Summit is properly reflected in the education portfolio work programme.

The Minister of Education’s announcement of the Government’s education portfolio work programme marks a significant moment for the future of the education system.

Full details of the Education Portfolio Work Programme(external link) 

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:00 am, 12 March 2018

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