Establishing enduring objectives for children and young people in education

There is currently no clear and visible statement that sets the strategic direction for New Zealand’s education system and establishes the desired outcomes for our children and young people.

The Education (Update) Amendment Bill (the Bill) proposes that the strategic direction for New Zealand’s education system for early childhood and compulsory schooling be set through enduring objectives included in the Education Act 1989 (the Act).

Developing a small number of high-level objectives for children and young people aged 0-18 within the Act would provide enduring and visible strategic direction for early childhood services and schools.

The Bill proposes objectives for education that involve:

  • helping each child and young person attain educational achievement to the best of their potential; and
  • promoting the development of:
    • resilience, determination, confidence, and creative and critical thinking
    • good social skills and the ability to form good relationships
    • participation in community life and fulfilment of civic and social responsibilities
    • preparedness for work
  • to instill an appreciation of the importance of:
    • the inclusion within society of different groups and persons with different personal characteristics
    • the diversity of society
    • cultural knowledge, identity, and the different official languages
    • the Treaty of Waitangi and te reo Maori.

Further information

When will these changes take effect?

The Bill is expected to come into force in 2017.

Who would these changes effect?

The objectives would affect children and young people in early childhood and compulsory education, as well as education providers

How would ECE, ngā kohanga reo, schools and kura enact these?

ECE, ngā kohanga reo, schools and kura would use the objectives to set the strategic direction for education. This would influence how early childhood services, schools and kura deliver education.

Early childhood services and ngā kohanga reo have their own regulatory regime, and would need to take the government’s priorities into account when setting their strategic direction, and reporting to parents, whānau and government agencies.

How do they link to the other proposals around setting the strategic direction?

The strategic direction set by the enduring objectives and government’s medium-term priorities needs to be given effect through the roles and responsibilities of school boards of trustees (boards), and the planning and reporting requirements for boards as Crown entities.

What would happen if schools, kura, ECE and ngā kohanga reo providers do not meet these objectives?

The objectives are expected to inform the priorities included in the NELP. Schools, kura, ECE services and ngā kohanga reo would not expected to be directly accountable to the objectives.

The objectives would inform the planning and reporting framework for schools and kura.

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