Thirty years ago, the Tomorrow’s Schools reforms changed New Zealand’s schooling system, creating a system intended to better engage parents, whānau and communities with their local schools.
While the current system has strengths, it is inadequately serving some of our learners, in particular Māori, Pacific, people with disabilities and/or learning needs and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Now, New Zealand has the opportunity to reset the education system with a greater level of resource and expertise at the front line where it is needed.
This reset is significant. Changes will require ongoing investment of time and resource, and will need to be managed in a coherent and connected way over the next ten years.
The core components of the reform that will be introduced over ten years include:
The success of the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa relies on our teachers and leaders having the skills and confidence to interpret them, ensure they are relevant in a local context, and bring them to life in the classroom.
We want to ensure that our teachers and leaders have access to high quality advice, and resources that enable them to do this effectively.
The Government will establish a nationally based Curriculum Centre to provide curriculum leadership and expertise. As part of its redesign, the Ministry of Education will look at what it would take to create a much clearer and larger critical mass of expertise that leads, develops and supports curriculum development and delivery.
The Taskforce put forward a number of proposed actions to improve the foundational experience for new teachers. Our system must ensure that our new teachers are suitably trained and well-prepared, and provide them with the support and guidance they need as they progress through the early stages of their career. We have already made progress in this area. In Budget 2019, the Government allocated funding to:
The Ministry of Education will consider the Taskforce’s proposals for strengthening initial teacher education, along with alternative approaches, as part of a future programme of work.
The Government agrees with the Taskforce that a comprehensive and effective Education Workforce Strategy is necessary. Informed by the Taskforce’s comments, the Government will develop a draft Education Workforce Strategy for consultation shortly.
The Government acknowledges that this is a significant change to further strengthen the education system. Changes related to governance and management of schools need to work in a complex system that includes early learning and tertiary education.
The changes require ongoing investment of both time and resource, and will need to be managed in a coherent and connected way over the next ten years.
A detailed timeline can be found in Appendix 1 of the Government’s position document, ‘Supporting all schools to succeed: Reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system’.