National’s education policy

National launched their campaign today and also announced their education policy.

$379m package to prepare our children for the future

National will provide New Zealand’s young people with the skills and language training to succeed in a globally-connected, high-tech world, Prime Minister and National Party Leader Bill English says.

The next National-led Government will invest $379 million to provide school students with stronger maths, technology and languages skills, as well as updating National Standards to give parents and teachers better information about how students are performing and where they need more support.

“Now that the government books are in surplus, we want to invest more to help our young people embrace the tremendous opportunities New Zealand has through the next fifty years,” Mr English says.

“Opportunities from new technology, new ideas and ways of working, and stronger international connections.

“Nothing can replace the thousands of motivated, professional teachers. But we can improve the tools they use and the support we give them to lift educational standards.”

National will roll out a four-point education package to:

  • Provide every primary school student the opportunity to learn a second language
  • Improve the maths skills of primary school students by upskilling teachers, providing additional classroom resources like digital apps, and delivering intensive support for students who need it
  • Create Digital Academies and Digital Internships to give year 12 and 13 students practical, work-based learning opportunities that are a springboard into careers in the IT sector
  • Extend National Standards to provide much more detailed information about how our kids are progressing right throughout the year – information that can be accessed immediately online by children and their parents

“National Standards provides a valuable snap-shot of how your child has performed across the year,” Mr English says.

“National Standards Plus will build on this by allowing you to track your child’s progress in more detail, online, as it happens.

“I want our children to be confident about their future, open to the world and ambitious for themselves and for our country.

“Our teachers and schools work so hard to create opportunities for our children and these measures will further help more of our kids reach their potential,” Mr English says.

The new funding is made up of $354 million of ongoing funding over four years, plus a $25 million one-off investment in systems to extend National Standards.

Nikki Kaye is Minister of Education so is likely to have played a part in this, probably an attempt to show that National can come up with innovation from relatively young female MPs to compete or contrast with Ardern.

Patrick Gower thinks this is a good move: Bill English goes with blinder idea rather than bribe

Bill English has played a blinder by coming up with a policy to give all Kiwi kids the chance to learn a second language.

Who saw it coming? It is original, it is ambitious, it is symbolic – and at $160 million it doesn’t cost that much.

It is not compulsory – kids can learn Te Reo, French or Mandarin if they want under National’s policy.

It will be very appealing to parents – and as a pitch to those crucial centre  voters, it is a blinder of an idea.

It is there to show that Bill English is not just about the economy and that he is not out of ideas.

It fits with National’s brand that it is open to the world.

Coupled with National’s other plans to enhance digital learning and improve National Standards it creates a good wedge with Labour, which announced its education policy weeks ago under Andrew Little to little fanfare. Labour is also tied to the unions when it comes to policy and wants to scrap National Standards.

So instead of a bribe it is a blinder of an idea by Bill English.

Bold education policy is certainly outside the normal big ideas box from National. Whether it will appeal to voters or not is another story, and we won’t know the end of the story for another month or so.

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59 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  August 27, 2017

    Labour has the water tax. National has this policy. The left will hate it with a vengeance. This policy calls for objective results. The Left don’t like that. They want ethereal themes like environment and gender issues.

    The thought of being told little Johnny is as thick as a piece of 4×2, and is behind the rest of the class, so do something about it, is anathema to teacher unions.

    Look for lots of whining on the new tonight.

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  August 27, 2017

      Wow, that’s great, no-one will behind the rest of the class!

      Teachers are criticised for apparently wanting no-one to show out, and now no-one can be behind anyone else. Which means everyone has to be equal.

      A winner policy because it is aimed at those with a rudimentary knowledge and a political view of kids and learning. Is this whining?

      Reply
      • High Flying Duck

         /  August 27, 2017

        Isn’t it a policy about making sure kids reach minimum objective standards instead of having no specific basis for their learning goals?
        yours is an incredibly disingenuous view of National Standards – and echoes the complete (deliberate) misreading of it by the left in general.
        Kids are allowed to excel, and there will always be some who do better than others – equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.
        This policy is about putting a floor under the lowest acceptable learning outcomes and ensuring appropriate resource is put into those who are not meeting those minimum standards to ensure all students leave school with an acceptable level of usable skills.
        Outrageous I know, and antithesis to those who believe turning up should qualify you for a certificate, and that putting expectations on learning outcomes is bullying.

        Reply
        • Bill Courtney

           /  August 27, 2017

          HFD, You’re 7 years out of date! All you are doing is repeating the same spiel about what National Standards was originally going to achieve, as theorised in 2008!

          But tens of millions of dollars and 9 years on, what have we got to show for it? Absolutely NO CHANGE in the proportions of students At or Above NS over the 6 years we have data for.

          It is you who is being disingenuous and you know it.

          Reply
          • High Flying Duck

             /  August 27, 2017

            Absolute rubbish. Just because the teachers unions are still fighting tooth and nail against objective standards doesn’t mean they are no good.
            I find it interesting that as far as the schools my kids go to the Improvements made against national standards year on year are used aa big selling point.
            I personally feel far better informed when getting school reports now. I can see where my children should be for their age and how they are going.

            Reply
          • Corky

             /  August 27, 2017

            Hey, Bill. Thanks to national standards my young relly was able to receive private remedial help. Beats being told ” don’t worry, they will pick it up.” As my grammar shows, that’s bullshit.

            Reply
        • duperez

           /  August 27, 2017

          A little pause before jumping on the high horse might have had you realising that the comment was a response about Corky’s comment. A response that is valid.

          Reply
          • Bill Courtney

             /  August 27, 2017

            How? HFD was trying to re-sell the original policy, attempting to describe the theory that NS was about achieving minimum objective standards, etc etc.

            Bill English is doubling down on the major education policy National ran with in 2008.

            But it just hasn’t worked.

            Reply
          • High Flying Duck

             /  August 27, 2017

            Sorry dupe…i didn’t read Corey’s comment first – I withdraw and apologise as I misread what you were saying.
            My sentiment re the standards themselves remains.

            Reply
      • Corky

         /  August 27, 2017

        ”Is this whining?”

        Wouldn’t have a clue what your post was about, so I can’t comment.

        You aren’t an education wonk for Labour….are you?

        Reply
        • duperez

           /  August 28, 2017

          You said it is anathema to teacher unions being told to do something about a kid being behind the rest of the class. Someone is always behind the class, someone is always last. Teachers are trying to improve all, not trying to see that some learner is not “last.”

          Learning is not a contest and not a race. Go into or local school and see members of teacher unions working their butts off with remedial work and special programmes for those “behind”. Anathema?

          I don’t know what a wonk is and am not in Labour or education.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  August 28, 2017

            wonk
            wɒŋk
            noun
            1. NORTH AMERICANinformal derogatory
            a studious or hard-working person.
            “any kid with an interest in science was a wonk”
            2.nautical slang
            an incompetent or inexperienced sailor, especially a naval cadet.

            You’re welcome. 😉

            Reply
  2. PDB

     /  August 27, 2017

    Nikki Kaye is a diligent, hard working, thinking persons version of Jacinda Ardern.

    Future PM if her health holds up & National are smart in their future leadership choice (and can oust some of the other pretenders high up on their list that have zero chance of being PM).

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 27, 2017

      No show. Jacinda does more different things with her hair. These things are important. But Jacinda is also rapidly growing into that job of hers. More formidable than anyone gave her credit for. Imo.

      Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  August 27, 2017

        Me too. Sorry to be churlish though, but I don’t see/perceive any great intellect there. But obvious skills none the less. Lot of luck and ‘help’ I think it’s fair to say.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  August 27, 2017

          Which one are you talking about?

          The Blonde 🙅 or the Brunette 🙅🏻 ?

          Reply
          • Pete Kane

             /  August 27, 2017

            I was talking about Jacinda, if you are meaning me G?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  August 27, 2017

              Of course I mean you. It is clearly a reply to YOUR comment. Don’t muck me about Mr Kane – I am not in the mood ! 😡

              I’m having enuff trouble with a couple of utter bastards here already!

            • Pete Kane

               /  August 27, 2017

              Sorry. In fairness it was directly below, and in context, but I shall be more diligent – promise.

      • PDB

         /  August 27, 2017

        Kaye’s already beaten Ardern – twice in fact.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  August 27, 2017

          Cabinet Minister vs *Airhead Nobody*. Piece of piss to beat her then.
          Now? Different story altogether. Adern’s learned faster than Kaye – & she’s got a hard edge nobody expected. Fools might be some of all she has to work with, but they won’t be suffered gladly after the election. Where they fail, she’s got the smarts to fix it for next time. She’s a fkn fast learner, a fast talker & a stuck fast in that leader’s job. Kaye is a blonde.

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  August 27, 2017

            Ardern will be counting the weeks down in the hope she doesn’t get found out before voting begins………if she does form the next govt Winston will make mincemeat of her.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  August 27, 2017

              I disagree. And I have never been wrong. Just ask Al’s Mrs. Whatever shortcomings Ms Ardern might discover she needs to address will be thru the incompetence of her team, not herself.

              And she will fix that. The Silver Fox may well end up, ultimately, screwed, & not in the way the Joneser likes to watch it!

              Also, you don’t have someone necessary on your side – remember?

            • PDB

               /  August 27, 2017

              Don’t worry G – God is but a figment of one’s imagination much like Ardern’s leadership abilities.

            • Gezza

               /  August 27, 2017

          • Gezza

             /  August 27, 2017

            For the downticka!
            🌸 – and – 😘

            Reply
          • You’re wrong there Gezza. Jacinda has been there 9 years and done little.

            Jacinda Ardern. Policy Wonk or not?

            Questions are being posed. What’s she ever done of any substance and how does she rank on policy?

            “In her nine years in Parliament, Ms Ardern has prepared just two pieces of legislation, neither of which became law.

            “Her Care of Children Law Reform Bill proposed nothing more than requiring the Law Commission to make recommendations on gay adoption. Her Child Poverty Reduction and Eradication Bill was limited to setting up a new Child Poverty Reduction Board. Even her statements on climate change last Sunday – reported by the media as somehow visionary – were soon revealed to be supported by nothing other than a promise to set up a new Climate Commission in Wellington.

            Serious politicians from yesteryear, from Ruth Richardson on the right to Sue Bradford on the left, would regard this as a pathetic contribution.”

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  August 27, 2017

              I am not accustomed to being told I’m wrong by anybody but ma, trav. 😡

              Please do not do it again. 🌹

      • Conspiratoor

         /  August 27, 2017

        Not wishing to be provocative G but in what sense is she formidable?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  August 27, 2017

          You are, regrettably, being frozen out for a short period of time for being a tad rude to my sista!

          Reply
          • Conspiratoor

             /  August 27, 2017

            Your diversionary tactic aside she is certainly formidable in terms of her ability to engage her facial muscles. I’ve never seen anything quite like it

            Now allow me to lust her achievements…

            “Her two members’ bills have been shockingly weak. Her first bill on adoption was a press release pretending to be a bill. It merely instructed the Law Commission to go write the real bill and have the Government introduce it. The bill was so bad even the Greens voted against it. It actually undermined the real work done cross party by Kevin Hague and Nikki Kaye who met with all the stakeholders, with law professors, adoption groups and wrote a detailed law reform bill.
            Her latest bill is much the same. It is labelled the Child Poverty Reduction and Eradication Bill. It basically sets up a a Child Poverty Reduction Board! That’s it. It’s a sound bite not a serious law.
            In no way do I think Jacinda doesn’t care about gay adoption and child poverty. She does. But the consistent pattern in her career has been that she prioritises empathy over effectiveness” – Tim watkins

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  August 27, 2017

              That was then, & even now, but look at the polls – she is pitching correctly to the right target demographics, & they are buying it.

              As for how will it all be paid for? It doesn’t actually matter, as long it’s carefully approached. Bugger the Christchurch Cathedral & picking winners, for example.

              It’s the government departments’ & Treasury’s job to work out how to pay for policy programmes – it’s not Bill English or Steven Joyce or the Cabinet Ministers doing it. Whatever they might try to pretend.

              Ardern is starting to get that message across.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  August 27, 2017

              Noted

            • phantom snowflake

               /  August 27, 2017

              “allow me to lust her achievements….”
              = rather blatant freudian slip lol

            • Conspiratoor

               /  August 27, 2017

              Have trained the tab 2 auto complete to generate subliminal pork G

            • Gezza

               /  August 27, 2017

              @ c
              Sorry

    • High Flying Duck

       /  August 27, 2017

      No comparison when you look at electorate work, policy development and intellect, Nikki Kaye is streets ahead.
      But Gezza is right – Jacinda does do more with her hair and is a dab hand at the vacuous say nothing sound bite so she probably wins.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 27, 2017

        Yaw trouble I reckin is you’ve just got a thing for blondes!

        Reply
          • Gezza

             /  August 27, 2017

            Thin, unimpressive hair, & a cut that accentuates it.

            Always was – not coz of the treatment, for which I am truly grateful & hope she has it beaten.

            But imo we are all underestimating Ardern. Kaye has ability but has been carefully & studiously mentored.

            Ardern is having to outgrow her mentors in a rush, because some of them are utter dorks. It remains my opinion that she will realise that & do something necessary about it! If not before the election, then after it.

            As for having gonads, probably the best indicator is Ardern telling the Australian foreign minister to get over herself, stop interfering in our elections – and she did all of that by saying if she had a problem she should call her!

            I dunno who’s managing Jacinda’s comms but they’re switched on. I’m voting OConnor regardless, but I’m not voting Labour. None of yous jokers are either – but plenty of people now will, becos they can see some steel in there that you can’t & they can figure out someof what Bill’s saying is shit!

            I caught him saying on 1ewes last night that people don’t want free educatio for their kids – they’d rather have an extra $20 in their pocket & decide what to spend it on themselves! And I thought – you dickhead! That won’t even buy a pack of cigarettes these days, & it’ll purchase stuff-all else either. More Smug Blunders like that one will screw him.

            Reply
            • You’d have thin hair after cancer surgery and months of chemotherapy too

            • Gezza

               /  August 28, 2017

              Yes I understand that. But it always was before anyway. I remarked on that already. I give her full marks for battling her cancer & returning to the fray. Like I do the thousands of others who do the same, & the thousands who don’t make it. But I won’t let her or anyone else trade on it. She’s a hard ass politician, & I think she’ll be learning Jacinda probably now is too. But I could be wrong trav. We’ll see. I’m looking beyond this election, which I still expect National to win. However I’m less certain of that outcome before than I was.

            • Gezza

               /  August 28, 2017

              * than I was before.
              Dammit trav 😡 You’ve given me your typoflu!

          • Pete Kane

             /  August 27, 2017

            To be flippant, but true opinion, I would consider Nikki as considerably more attractive than Jacinda.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  August 27, 2017

              Bone bags, the pair of them. Give me a woman with curves, & I’ve got the angles!

            • Gezza

               /  August 27, 2017

              Here’s who I’d vote for! And she could park her slippers you know where anytime!

            • PDB

               /  August 27, 2017

              She’s only 77 years old……..

            • Gezza

               /  August 27, 2017

              (Tbh, I’m hoping she has a baby sister who likes waterbirds)

        • High Flying Duck

           /  August 27, 2017

          I can’t say either of them are my cup of tea either Gezz.
          But Jacinda has started making some mistakes and is getting some stick for the lack of detail and inability to engage properly on any issue beyond saying she’s transparent.
          I’m certainly not writing her off, but the Nats are just getting started.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  August 27, 2017

            Yes, I understand what you are saying, but National appears – to relatively disinterested, & thus hopefully reasonably objective observers such as myself – to be reacting to Labour policies, and Bill is now coming over as smug and dismissive of her.

            National may well have been sitting on their election bribe policies, but the point is they SEEM to be a reaction to the new Labour team articulating their rationale more clearly, because Ardern is a far superior communicator to her four predecessors. She has youth, & now ambition, on her side – and in my opinion she is learning fast, on her feet & is there for the long haul.

            If she can’t buy off the demographics aimed for because the centre voters aren’t convinced & she can’t charm the unions, my feeling is she will then just bludgeon & blackmail them into submission next time round.

            I no longer underestimate this woman’s resolve or intelligence. She will have very able background mentors – including H1, possibly also including Sir Michael Cullen as well.

            And Mike Munro is no dummy.

            Reply
            • She’s shallow Gezz. She’s a very nice collection of words. They don’t suffice to run a country.

              Winston, Prosser, Ron, Grant, Chris, Phil, Kelvin and Jacinda. You serious mate. Rip Māori education apart and kill the economy inside a year.

            • Gezza

               /  August 28, 2017

              Fuxake trav. Get a grip woman❗️

            • Gezza

               /  August 28, 2017

              You’re too bloody negative. Should be ringing talkback radio! One session with Treasury will cure their fiscal hallucinations.

  3. All I can cynically think is why now? Education should always be looking at the cutting edge so if it isn’t what happened over the last nine years ?

    Reply
  4. duperez

     /  August 27, 2017

    I look forward to Bill English use the word “aspirational” when asked for details about the opportunity for every primary school student to learn a second language.

    It sounds great, it is definitely a good idea. Now, how is that to happen? If every primary pupil wants to learn a second language who is going to teach it? In every school? Every year they attend primary school?

    It is a good aspiration but at the moment it’s fancy wallpaper just before than election. On August 27th 2017 has it suddenly become a good idea, that having kids learn a second language? Is it possible by August 27th 2019 that every primary school student wanting to learn a second language will have the opportunity? What magical thing makes this all so?

    Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  August 27, 2017

    I better watch 1ewes at 6 on the plus one channel I think. Been busy the last few days; not fully up with the play. Need to see who are the current political kickERs & kickEEs.

    Reply
  6. PDB

     /  August 27, 2017

    Reply

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