Biggest NZ education changes in decades

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The Education and Training Bill 2019, recently introduced in New Zealand Parliament, proposes the biggest education changes in decades.

Commenting on the Bill, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said: “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which are still in force, dates back to 1964.

“The Bill will bring all legislation on early learning, schooling and tertiary education into a single statute. Many of the changes underpin the Government’s plans to transform schooling, following the conversation and the Tomorrow’s Schools taskforce report.”

These include:

  • Making it clear that school Boards’ primary objectives include, alongside achievement, ensuring that schools are safe and inclusive, are free from racism, discrimination and bullying, and that schools are giving effect to Te Tiriti;
  • Establishing a Code of Conduct, setting minimum conduct standards for board members; and
  • Ensuring more local children can attend their local schools by shifting responsibility for enrolment schemes from Boards to the Ministry of Education.

The (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill, and the Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill, will both be incorporated into this Education and Training Bill. It is intended that the Education and Training Bill will be updated to reflect the final version of these two Bills when they are enacted.