Politics: National to invest in quality education for our kids

As the MP for Pakuranga, an electorate with some of the best schools in the country, I know just how a good education can transform lives.

With the right education we can overcome the challenges some children face purely because of the circumstances they were born into. That’s why education is one of National’s core investment priorities.

National’s Education Discussion Document outlines many proposals we want your feedback on, and reconfirms our commitments.

As National’s Associate Spokesperson for Education I have been heavily involved in this document and am looking forward to your feedback.

In Early Childhood Education (ECE) we continue to focus on the quality of education and care our children receive in those foundation years, so we’re proposing spot checks on ECE services to ensure they are meeting the required standards.

National will also support teachers so they can spend more time actually teaching.

Last year Simon Bridges announced a National Government would reduce class sizes at primary level. We are committed to this policy and have now released draft student-teacher ratios for feedback.

More time with a teacher means more opportunities for children to ask questions and get answers, and for teachers to focus on areas where a child may be struggling.

But smaller class sizes also means a need for more teachers. National is proposing a number of ways, including financial incentives, to attract more people to the profession, or to get people to return to teaching.

We’re also considering changes to initial teacher training, which include strengthening practicum requirements, accredited schools involved in teacher training and more support for teachers who mentor new ones.

A quality education comes from our teachers, but it also comes from a strong curriculum. We want local curriculum to thrive and teachers to have world class curriculum resources. Children must leave school with firm foundations in core areas of reading, writing and maths.

National also wants your feedback on tertiary education, like first year Fees Free, which has been an expensive failure and whether we should scrap it or replace it with an alternative.

Our Education Discussion Document is part of the biggest policy development process undertaken by an Opposition ever. We’re doing the work now so we’re ready to hit the ground running in 2020.

You can view and document and submit your thoughts at www.national.org.nz/education.

Simeon Brown

MP for Pakuranga

 

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