Progress is being made toward a revised Education Act with a summary of the 1800 public submissions on the proposed new legislation released last week.
The main theme emerging from the submissions was that the goals of education should go beyond narrow measures of academic achievement and should result in “well-rounded individuals”. The most frequently mentioned indicators were student progress, student well-being, parent, community and learner feedback and success across the New Zealand Curriculum.
“The summary shows New Zealanders want their kids to succeed academically, to be prepared for work and future life and to be helped to become good citizens. They also want their cultural heritage to be recognised and valued,” said Education Minister Hekia Parata.
“The submissions also show that the public believe some changes are necessary to ensure education legislation remains fit for purpose.”
Proposals to write the goals of education and the roles and responsibilities of Boards of Trustees into the Education Act also received support.
There was also significant support for some form of cohort entry. Supporters believed that it would simplify administration and enable smoother transitions from early childhood.
Submitters also felt school planning and reporting cycles should be simplified.
In terms of the next steps, the Minster will seek Cabinet approval on the changes she wishes to proceed with before an amendment Bill will be drafted and introduced later this year. This will then proceed through a Select Committee process. The new education legislation is expected to be passed next year.
The executive summary can be found here: http://www.education.govt.nz/ministry-of-education/consultations-and-reviews/updating-the-education-act-1989/