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 A good education provides the foundation for young people to step more confidently into work opportunities that gives young people financial independence and the ability to make more positive choices in life.

As a former teacher, I keep a keen eye on developments to do with learning, and I’m very proud of the work that our education team of Nikki Kaye, Shane Reti and Nicola Willis have put into National’s latest policy document.

Released last week, the Education Discussion Document contains over 100 proposals and questions that will be refined into policy after receiving public feedback. The focus is on ideas to improve quality, address teaching shortages and enhance screening and early intervention.

A good education system must put students, teachers and parents at its core.

We are committed to reducing class sizes, strengthening teacher training, supporting children with complex needs, maintain autonomy for schools and polytechs, and investing in education infrastructure.

We want the local curriculum to thrive and teachers to have world class curriculum resources, with less paperwork and more face-to-face time with pupils. Children must leave school with firm foundations in core areas of reading, writing and maths. While they should be digitally savvy, there needs to be a balance with quality learning away from devices.  And every child from year 1-8 should have the opportunity to learn a second language.

What do you think?

We also have other ideas that we’d like your feedback on ranging from creating a comprehensive parent/ child/teacher progress record, to improving reporting systems and alternatives to funding tertiary and trades education.

First year Fees Free has been an expensive failure. There are fewer learners now than before the scheme was introduced. It’s been a waste of hard earned taxpayer money. We’re proposing some potential options, including a possible Education saver plan, which would be similar to Kiwi saver involving contributions from the crown, parents, children and even businesses.

We’re keen to hear your views. Please visit https://www.national.org.nz/discussion_documents  and let us know your thoughts.

The Education Discussion Document is the latest part of an extensive work programme we’re doing to produce robust and relevant policies for all New Zealanders.

National wants to work with parents and teachers to ensure all children are healthy, skilled and motivated lifelong learners.

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