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“I know we have a world class curriculum, but it is very vague and open to many interpretations. More clarity around this would be useful for new teachers in particular.” (Teacher)

“The future needs to be built on the recognition of the Treaty and tino rangatiratanga.” (Wānanga feedback)

Our national curriculum for schooling – Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and The New Zealand Curriculum for schooling – is highly flexible and doesn’t tell teachers what to teach and when. It gives schools and kura the scope, flexibility and authority to design and shape their school curriculum or marau ā-kura that reflects their local context. But that flexibility can be challenging for schools and kura, who have said they want more clarity about the expectations of the national curriculum, and more support for developing a school curriculum or marau ā-kura.

We want to update our national curriculum so it is equitable and fit for purpose, now and into the future, and that it reflects our aspirations for all children and young people.

We want to make sure that the national curriculum is more responsive to the future of learning and work, and that it is routinely updated. So that, with the other changes through our Education Work Programme, it sustains their identity, language and culture, and helps them to thrive. And so each child and young person’s learning journey recognises their diverse strengths, uncaps and grows their potential, and helps them find their unique way of being and contributing in the world.

It’s also time for Te Marautanga o Aotearoa – which guides learning through te reo Māori – to be reviewed to more strongly reflect te ao Māori approaches to education while continuing to reflect what whānau, hapū and iwi deem to be important for their children and young people.

With a process for routinely updating our national curriculum, we would be able to make the most significant learning steps clearer. It would be easier for teachers and kaiako work with their communities to design and deliver a local curriculum or marau ā-kura that includes holistic learning from the national curriculum, as well as learning that’s important at the local level, affirms each student’s identity, language and culture, and reflects their aspirations and those of their whānau, hapū and iwi.

We have already announced changes to make sure all children and young people learn about New Zealand’s histories.