Issues being considered for legislation in 2018
A number of issues are being considered for legislation in 2018. We are consulting on six issues that may be included in an education bill following consultation. Consultation closes on 13 April 2018.
Protecting the public interest in Education Council decision making
Earlier this year, the Government’s Education (Teaching Council of Aotearoa) Amendment Bill was referred to a Select Committee for consideration. The Bill changes the composition of the Education Council by enabling teachers to directly elect the majority of Council members. At the moment, all members are appointed by the Minister of Education.
In addition to the changes to representation on the Council, the Government wants to ensure the public interest in the work of the Council is adequately promoted. The Council makes an important contribution to the quality of education, student safety, the supply of teachers and their professional standards.
The Government proposes to require the Council to consult it on decisions relating to teacher training and registration. It also proposes enabling the Minister to issue a Government policy statement on matters relating to the teaching profession, to which the Council must have regard in carrying out its functions. It is intended that any policy statement issued by the Minister would be developed in consultation with the Council and other key stakeholders.
Establishing the College of Educational Leadership
Evidence is clear that quality educational leadership is second only to quality teaching as an in-school influence on student outcomes. The Government is committed to establishing a College of Educational Leadership with the power to set minimum qualifications for those applying for leadership positions and ensure that quality professional development programmes are available for educational leaders. The Government is considering whether the College should be established as part of the Education Council (the Council) or elsewhere in the system.
The functions proposed for the College overlap with the Education Council’s current functions. If the College is established outside the Council, the Council’s functions would need to be amended to ensure that the respective roles of the College and the Council are clear. We are seeking views on how the Council’s role in relation to educational leadership should be redefined in this case.
Making student welfare a registration criteria for private schools
All State, State integrated schools and early childhood education providers are required to ensure there is a safe physical and emotional environment for students. Private schools are subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and, under the Education Act 1989, are required to have suitable premises and equipment, as approved by the Secretary. In certain circumstances, a private school’s registration may be suspended by the Secretary for Education, if the welfare of the students is at risk.
However, the Education Act 1989 does not permit the Secretary for Education to consider students’ physical and emotional welfare when registering a private school. Nor does the Act allow the Secretary to deregister a school if it fails to provide a safe environment for its students.
The Government expects that the physical and emotional safety of students is of the highest priority for all schools, including private schools. It is confident that, most of the time, most schools, including private schools, provide such an environment for their students.
The Government is considering adding a new registration criterion for private schools, requiring the provision of a safe physical and emotional environment for students.
Ensuring appropriate safety and police vetting requirements
The safety of children and young people must always come first. However, the current requirements for safety checking of people across schools, kura and early learning services vary, giving children in some environments more protection than children in others.
There are two requirements being considered for change following consultation:
- The standard of safety checking considered necessary for people who live where home-based early learning is provided, and
- The requirements to police vet contractors, such as tradespeople, who enter schools and early learning services.
Reinstating a skills leadership role for industry training organisations
From 2004 to 2014, the Industry Training and Apprenticeships Act (ITA) specified that industry training organisations (ITOs) had a skills leadership role for their respective industries. This included identifying current and future needs, developing training plans to help the industry meet those needs, and promoting training that will meet those needs to employers and employees.
In 2014, the specific requirement that ITO provide skills leadership was removed from the ITA. The previous Government intended that ITOs focus on arranging training and setting standards, and that other industry organisations should exercise skills leadership. The Government want to restore this role to ITOs to acknowledge their contribution.
The Ministry is seeking stakeholder views on restoring ITOs’ skills leadership role, and what changes should be made to legislation to facilitate best practice ITO skills leadership.
Repealing the start-up of communities of online learning, pending a conversation about the future of online learning in our education system
The Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 established communities of online learning (COOL). These provisions are due to come into effect in 31 December 2019. The Government recognises that there is a place for online learning but has concerns about the possibility that COOL, that are not schools, could use non-registered teachers to provide tuition, and not teach the national curricula.
The Minister of Education is proposing the repeal of the COOL legislative provisions. Instead, the Minister proposes the future of online learning should sit within the broader discussion on the visions for the education system with a modernised framework for distance learning. Te Kura would return to its role in the system – a school that enrols students who cannot access a face-to-face school, and that provides supplementary tuition to students enrolled in schools.
The Ministry of Education would like to hear stakeholder views on the proposal to repeal COOL, so there is time for a considered view of the future of online learning within a strategic context. In particular, it is interested in stakeholder views on whether students who would otherwise only be able to access Te Kura should be able to access their online learning with any state school.
The legislation will also change the rules for cohort (group) entry. Consultation on options for cohort entry for children aged over five has just closed. Read the consultation material here
How to have your say
We need to hear what you think about the issues being considered for legislation by no later than 13 April 2018. You are welcome to make a submission on one, or as many of these issues as you wish.
Email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to:
Education legislation submissions
Ministry of Education
PO Box 1666
Your submissions will become public information. This means that a member of the public may ask for a copy of your submission from us under the Official Information Act 1982. Any submission summary we create as a result of this consultation may also mention your submission. Tell us if you do not want your name included in any submission summary.
There will be further opportunity for sector groups and the public to make submissions through the select committee process.
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