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Consultation on the draft National Education and Learning Priorities and the Tertiary Education Strategy

As New Zealanders, there is much we can be proud of in our education system. In general, our learners perform well against international benchmarks of educational success, and we have learners and teachers that are as good as any in the world. Our Māori-medium education sector is world leading in indigenous education, and it has played a vital part in the revitalisation of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori.

We heard from New Zealanders through the Education Conversation: Kōrero Mātauranga, the education summits, and through targeted engagement, that wellbeing, equity and inclusion are really important for learners/ākonga and their family and whānau, but that the education system we have now is not delivering on this for everyone.

Education Work Programme and the Education Conversation: Kōrero Mātauranga

This Government has embarked on a comprehensive programme of change across the education system, so that it supports better lives for all New Zealanders. For the first time, we are taking an integrated approach to set the direction for the education system, from early childhood providers, through the compulsory schooling sector, to tertiary education and training.

In early 2018, learners/ākonga, parents, employers, iwi, communities, educators, and the Government, started to talk about what New Zealand needs from education now and into the future, and how to make this happen.

We have already started to make change in the education system, through the following strategies:

  • Ka Hikitia–the Māori Education strategy

  • The Pacific Education Action Plan

  • The Education Workforce Strategy

  • The Tomorrow's Schools Review

  • The International Education Strategy

  • The Reform of Vocational Education

  • He taonga te tamaiti? Every child a taonga—Strategic plan for early learning

Vision for education:

The Government has agreed to develop an enduring 30 year approach to education in New Zealand. The Guardians of the Education Conversation have developed the following vision, based on the evidence gathered through the Kōrero Mātauranga, to embody what New Zealanders want to see in our education system:

Whakamaua te pae tata kia tina—Take hold of your potential so it becomes your reality …

We are descendants of explorers, discoverers and innovators who used their knowledge to traverse distant horizons. Our learning will be inclusive, equitable and connected so we progress and achieve advances for our people and their future journeys and encounters.

Whaia te pae tawhiti kia tata—Explore beyond the distant horizon and draw it near!

The vision is grounded in New Zealanders' aspirations for education—to enable every New Zealander to learn and excel, to help their whānau and communities thrive, and to build a productive and sustainable economy and an open and caring society.

What are the Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities and the Tertiary Education Strategy?

The Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP) and the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) are a set of priorities for practice in places of learning, from early childhood through to tertiary education and training. The NELP and the TES are statutory documents enabled by the Education Act 1989, and express the Government's expectations of places of learning to improve wellbeing, equity and inclusion in education.

Those in governance positions in the early learning and the compulsory education sectors must have regard to the NELP priorities. The Tertiary Education Commission must give effect to the TES and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority must have regard to it. Tertiary Education Organisations must show how they will contribute to achieving the priorities set out in the TES through their investment plans.

This draft of the NELP and the TES draws on the messages heard through the Education Conversation: Kōrero Mātauranga, and on targeted engagement with children and young people and tertiary education stakeholders.

In addition to this engagement, the draft NELP and TES have also been informed by evidence about how our education system is performing, and the things that providers and educators can do that will make the most difference for learners/ākonga and their family and whānau.

Objectives for education

In early 2018 the Government set out its objectives for the education work programme—these have been updated to encompass what New Zealanders told us was important to them.

The objectives for education set the context for the NELP and the TES, and outline the things Government will focus on to improve outcomes and wellbeing across the education system.

Objective One: Learners at the centre—learners with their whānau are at the centre of education

  • Wellbeing is fundamentally entwined with learning.

  • Every learner/ākonga and their family and whānau should be free from all forms of bullying, racism and harassment.

  • The voice of learners/ākonga, whānau, families and their communities should be sought out and listened to.

Objective Two: Barrier free access—great education opportunities and outcomes are within reach for every learner

  • Education must be available to, and deliver for, all. Barriers that stop learners/ākonga from fully participating in education, including financial and physical barriers, need to be reduced, so all learners/ākonga have access to equitable opportunities and outcomes.

Objective Three: Quality teaching and leadership—quality teaching and leadership make the difference for learners and their whānau

  • We need diverse, highly skilled and motivated teachers/kaiako to adopt the practices that make the most positive difference for learners/ākonga.

  • Quality leadership must be developed at all levels of the system to lead positive change, and enhance quality day-to-day learning.

Objective Four: Future of learning and work—learning that is relevant to the lives of New Zealanders today and throughout their lives

  • Learners/ākonga need access to education that enables them to meet the changing opportunities and challenges of the future of work. Citizenship, pathways to employment, and lifelong learning are important parts of this.

  • For Māori learners, this means acquiring the skills to participate in te ao Māori, New Zealand society and the global context.

Objective Five: World class inclusive public education—New Zealand education is trusted and sustainable

  • The education system needs to be high trust, adaptive and able respond to the needs of all learners/ākonga and our changing world. New Zealand's education and research must be internationally respected, and support effective Māori-Crown partnerships.

  • The education system also needs to reflect tino rangatiranga—the ability for Māori to have self-determination over their education and to be empowered to find local solutions led by Māori.

The Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities:

The NELP expresses the Government's priorities for education in the early learning and compulsory schooling sectors. The NELP priorities will help those who govern schools, kura, early learning services and ngā kōhanga reo, focus their day-to-day work on things that will have a significant positive impact for learners/ākonga.

Those in governance positions for places of learning, including boards of trustees and early childhood centre licensees, are responsible and accountable for implementing the NELP.

Please note: the proposed priorities are not listed in order of importance or preference.

The Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities—proposed priorities:

To achieve each objective for education, early learning services and schools must:

Objective One:

Learners at the centre—learners with their whānau are at the centre of education

1. Make sure that every learner/ākonga feels safe, appreciated and included for who they are, including their identity, language and culture, and learning needs.

2. Include family and whānau as partners central to the learning and achievement of every learner/ākonga.

Objective Two:

Barrier free access—great education opportunities and outcomes are within reach for every learner

3. Have high expectations for every learner/ākonga and eliminate practices that limit access across the curriculum.

4. Support successful transitions into, within, and from places of learning.

5. Ensure financial and other barriers for learners/ākonga and their whānau do not prevent equitable access to teaching, learning and participation in the life of the early learning service or school.

Objective Three:

Quality teaching and leadership—quality teaching and leadership make the difference for learners and their whānau

6. Grow their workforce to strengthen teaching and leadership and to contribute to a stronger profession across the system.

7. Incorporate te reo Māori and tikanga Māori in the everyday life of the place of learning. 

Objective Four:

Future of learning and work—learning that is relevant to the lives of New Zealanders today and throughout their lives

8. Ensure they offer learning that equips learners/ākonga with an understanding of New Zealand's cultural identities and our history.

Objective Five:

World class inclusive public education—New Zealand education is trusted and sustainable

9. Develop relationships with their local iwi and hapū and communities to align aspirations and strategic direction setting. 

The Tertiary Education Strategy

The TES sets out the Government's long-term strategic direction and priorities for the tertiary education system. The Tertiary Education Commission must give effect to the TES and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority must have regard to them. Tertiary Education Organisations must show how they will contribute to achieving the priorities set out in the TES through their investment plans.

The 13 proposed priorities in the draft TES aim to ensure equity of outcomes for all learners, particularly for Māori and Pacific learners and those with learning support needs, who are currently underserved by tertiary education. The priorities also seek to ensure the sector is equipped for the changing nature of work and that it enables clear and effective career pathways and life-long learning opportunities.

Please note: the proposed priorities are not listed in order of importance or preference.

The Tertiary Education Strategy—proposed priorities:

To achieve each objective for education, tertiary education must:

Objective One:

Learners at the centre—learners with their whānau are at the centre of education

1. Make sure tertiary environments are safe, inclusive and responsive.

Objective Two:

Barrier free access—great education opportunities and outcomes are within reach for every learner

2. Understand and respond to the needs and aspirations of learners/ākonga.

3. Develop clear and supported pathways to enable learners/ākonga to achieve their aspirations.

4 Create a wide range of education options and delivery models to enable lifelong learning.

Objective Three:

Quality teaching and leadership—quality teaching and leadership make the difference for learners and their whānau

5. Invest in their staff in ways that strengthen their practice and align to the needs of learners/ākonga, industry, employers and communities.

6. Incorporate te reo Māori and tikanga Māori in the everyday life of the place of learning.

7. Deliver culturally and personally responsive teaching and learning.

Objective Four:

Future of learning and work—learning that is relevant to the lives of New Zealanders today and throughout their lives

8. Move the focus of teaching and learning more strongly towards workplaces.

9. Rethink what we teach and learn for the changing nature of work.

10. Deliver enabling careers guidance and information.

11. Encourage TEOs and employers to work collaboratively in upskilling current employees.

Objective Five:

World class inclusive public education—New Zealand education is trusted and sustainable

12. Recognise and value our unique national identity.

13. Enhance the contribution of research to the wellbeing of New Zealand.

We want to know what you think

We asked you through the Education Conversation: Kōrero Mātauranga what you thought priorities should be for the education system. Your comments, together with evidence about how the system is performing, have informed the development of these priorities.

We now want to check that we have fairly reflected your views and concerns in the proposed NELP and TES priorities. Please note that we are not consulting on the vision or objectives for education.

Consultation on the NELP and the TES has started, and will close for the TES in late October, and for the NELP in late November. You can provide feedback via the online surveys, submissions, social media, and targeted face-to-face consultations.

Details on submissions

We also welcome submissions on the priorities, which can be emailed to: NELP.TES@education.govt.nz

Want more information?

The evidence briefs developed to inform the draft NELP priorities can be found here:

https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/national-education-and-learning-priorities/evidence-briefs/

Treat kids like they're gold, the summary of the 2018 targeted engagement with children and young people, is also available here:

https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/national-education-and-learning-priorities/what-you-told-us/

Links to further information on the TES

Check out the website for engagement reports, the discussion document, and evidence briefs here:

https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/tertiary-education-strategy/

Questions?

If you have any questions please contact: NELP.TES@education.govt.nz

End of Shaping a Stronger Education System with New Zealanders: Summary