The Nation – Parata on education

This morning on The Nation:

As Education Minister Hekia Parata steps down from the role, does she get a passing grade? Lisa Owen talks to her about National Standards, NCEA targets and school funding.

Will Parata leave satisified with what she has achieved? Yes.

But she will leave it up to parents to decide how well she has done.

Parata says expectations of students are rising across the education system, but there is more to do

Parata says the gap between Maori and non-Maori students is closing, but there’s still more to be done.

National Standards is bedding in and there has been incremental improvement says Parata.

Parata: families and society must step up

As she ends her tenure as Minister of Education Hekia Parata says that the responsibility for education goes beyond schools.

NZ Herald: Schools can’t teach everything, outgoing Education Minister Hekia Parata warns

Outgoing Education Minister Hekia Parata says a push for schools to cover all civic and social responsibilities needs to be resisted – saying families and society must step up.

Parata highlighted the issue during an exit interview with the Herald before she steps down from the role on May 1, with Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye expected to take over.

“We should demand a lot from our education system because we have a quality one. But we shouldn’t demand everything,” Parata said.

“Financial literacy, sex education, bullying – any number of issues – whenever they emerge in the public domain the first response is, ‘This should be taught by schools’. I think there needs to be a much fairer shared responsibility here between parents, family, whanau.

“Schools are there to deliver an education. They are not there to take over all the roles and responsibilities of families or society. The more there is balance in those expectations the more the schools can have the space to be the best that it can be.”

Parata makes an important point.

Curiosity and diligence and a willingness to learn has to start at home, with parents and with wider whanau.

By the time kids get to school – or even to early childhood education – they will have learnt off those they live with.

But how parents and whanau learn how to teach their children better?

And right through a child’s school it is important for parents not to just leave education up to the Government or to schools.

More important than learning stuff is the gaining the ability and desire to learn. A babbling teacher will struggle without a curious child.

There is a growing tendency for some to expect schools to feed the kids, parent the kids, provide social support, and try to fit in a bit of the three ‘R’s.

Most of what most animals learn is from observation, by copying, mimicking, learning off those they associate with. Especially off those they are close to and trust.

Education begins at home, and needs to continue at home. Schools can be a major help, but they will never replace the essential role of parents and whanau.

Status versus teaching

Today’s ODT editorial looks at the push to higher education for teachers, versus what makes teaching effective in Various degrees of teaching

Teachers play a significant role in the development of young people, some of it good, some of it bad.

I was taught stuff but largely uninspired by my education. Since leaving school most of what I have learnt that has been of benefit has been on the job and self taught.

In what must be one of the last acts of Education Minister Hekia Parata, she is backing a shift to make would-be teachers complete a degree in their chosen subject as well as a post-graduate qualification in teaching.

The Education Council is moving towards a position that all people wanting to become teachers – in early childhood, primary and secondary – should be required to have a bachelor-level degree, as well as a post-graduate level qualification in teaching.

One thing inherent in the success of any teacher is the ability to communicate with pupils of all ages. A teacher can be the brightest and smartest person in the room, but without being able to change the motivation of pupils to believe it is in their best interest to learn, success will remain elusive.

The most highly educated teacher I had, Professor Nimmo, ‘taught’ me 6th form physics – if you call writing screes of words on a scrolling blackboard that we were supposed to copy verbatim and learn from. While I knew how to do enough to pass exams that was very uninspiring.

The teacher who connected the best, albeit in small patches, was someone teaching outside of their main interest. It was hard to package the prose Shakespeare and a comparison of West and East Pakistan in an exciting way, but I remember Graeme Sydney trying a few tricks to stir interest up. He was an inspiring rugby coach, which was my real passion. A couple of years later he left teaching to go pursue a career in painting.

A degree in a subject is a good thing, but there are concerns a post-graduate degree will lead to qualification inflation, where teaching methods are secondary to a list of letters after a name.

At an early childhood level, the most important qualification is understanding human behaviour and development, rather than content. How the youngest in the education system develop has a life-long effect on their lives, as the longitudinal study run in Dunedin continues to show.

One of my grandkids went to a very good Early Childhood Centre. I have no idea what qualifications anyone there had, but the kids loved them and they had them doing all sorts of fun things – including working together to write a book illustrated by the kids.

The only thing I remember from my pre-school was sitting on the mat waiting to be given a quarter of an apple for a snack – that seemed very odd because I picked my own whole apples at home.

The Education Council is moving towards a view of all teaching training in the future being at a post-graduate level. This goes back to the core purpose of the council, to raise the status of the profession.

But the ‘status’ of teachers is a self-interested focus, effectively teaching kids should be the priority.

I know of a teacher from twenty years ago who had a van so he could sleep in it to avoid drink driving – whatever his qualifications were they didn’t determine his status.

Having a degree convinces employers the person has the ability to learn, understand and adapt – all important traits for teachers. However, the ability to literally teach a subject must be the most important consideration.

Surely any post-graduate teaching degree must concentrate on applying the valuable skills of motivation and communication.

I love looking up topics of interest online, I do it a lot. It’s far more interesting and effective than reading a text book or encyclopaedia. But I’ve obviously changed a lot since my primary and teenage years.

I have done a lot of looking up stuff of interest on the ‘net with grandkids, but if given the choice they would choose to watch cartoons or play games.

The competition for gaining children’s attention and teaching them things they will enjoy and benefit from must be a real challenge for teachers today.

I’m not sure how a post graduate qualification will help that. By the time a high falutin’ course has been developed and taught things are likely to have already changed again.

Teachers need to be able to learn as they go, and keep up with the play, because that’s what kids have to be able to do.


Leggett legging it to National?

It is being rumoured that Nick Leggett may stand for National in next year’s election, having left Labour and having had a boot up the bum from Andrew Little.

When he was Porirua mayor Nick Leggett was touted as a future Labour Party leader. But he had to leave Labour to stand for the Wellington mayoralty, and was blasted by Andrew little as ‘right wing’.

In August in Labour MPs forbidden from associating with “right-wing” Wellington mayoral candidate:

And he’s making it clear he considers Nick Leggett, a former Labour Party member, a right-winger.

“His campaign manager is well-known ACT party identity. We know that there’s money from the right-wing that has gone into his campaign. He’s a right-wing candidate.”

Wellington Mayoral candidate Nick Leggett appears to be public enemy number one for the Labour Party as its MPs are forbidden from associating with him.

Labour Leader Andrew Little has pulled rank, preventing MP Stuart Nash from speaking at an event where Mr Leggett was also speaking.

Mr Little said the event was for right-wingers who have routinely sought to undermine the Labour Party and it’s not right for a Labour MP to share a platform with people who do that.

In October Little seemed to have softened. From Another contender in fight for Mt Roskill:

Former Porirua mayor Nick Leggett would be welcome back into the Labour fold as someone with a “big future ahead of him”, Labour leader Andrew Little says.

“Nick is a talented guy…whether he just saw an opportunity for those who wanted to back him for mayor against a Labour candidate, who knows,” Little said, after Labour-endorsed Justin Lester was confirmed as mayor last night.

“He is a talented guy and he has got a big future ahead of him. But he has got to work with people who can organise for his success.”

On Tuesday Leggett indicated that those people wouldn’t be from Labour. Newstalk ZB: Nick Leggett: Labour has changed and I’m not going back

Nick Leggett told Tim Fookes he’s still interested in a career in politics, but it wouldn’t be with Labour as the party has changed.

“I want to live in a country that’s open, its borders are open, it’s open to migrants, it’s open to trade.”

“Unfortunately Labour seems to be going in the opposite direction to that, and I think it’s very sad.”

This morning from Newshub: From Labour to National, is Nick Leggett jumping ship?

Rumours are circulating that former Porirua mayor and ex-Labour stalwart Nick Leggett could be standing in the Mana electorate at next year’s election for the National Party.

It’s up for grabs following Hekia Parata’s decision to leave politics however Mr Leggett says nothing is official – yet.

“I would never say never but I say that in the widest possible sense,” he said.

“I won’t rule out standing for any, I think that would be silly to.”

Labour’s Kris Faafoi (19,651) easily beat Hekia Parata (11,698) in Mana in 2014 but National was ahead by over 2,000 votes in the party vote. Parata won’t be standing again next year.

Hekia Parata won’t stand next year

Hekia Parata announced today that she woudn’t stand again in next year’s election, but in the meantime would continue as Minister of Education as long as John key wanted her to.

It was reported (NBR) that Key had been advised of Parata’s decision some time ago but kept it under wraps until today’s announcement.

There was some surprise expressed, and some jubilation – National ministers of education are generally unpopular on the left no matter how competent they might be.

Opposition education spokesperson (the one in Parliament) Chris Hipkins tweeted:

Hekia Parata has announced she won’t contest the next election. But will she remain Minister of Education until then?

I don’t agree with much of what Hekia Parata does, but I do acknowledge her passion and commitment to education and to kids.

I wish Hekia Parata well in whatever she chooses to do next. I’m sure she will continue to contribute to New Zealand in some way.

In Hekia Parata gives John Key a ‘white guy’ problem Patrick Gower says:

As both a woman and a Māori, Parata gave the ministry a real point of difference. More importantly, she was there on merit too.

Parata on Facebook:

Kia ora
Today I’ve announced that I will not be standing in the 2017 election. I told the Prime Minister earlier this year after making the decision with my family over the summer, and now is the time to let everyone else know.

This is not my valedictory. I’m not signing out just yet. My focus and energy will be unwavering for as long as I am Education Minister. I look forward to continuing the work underway to make our education system even better than it already is.

It’s been an honour and a privilege serving the John Key-led Government as Education Minister and I will continue to serve in this role for as long as the Prime Minister wishes me to. When I came to Parliament, I set my sights high on becoming Education Minister – it’s my dream job and I’ll continue to approach it with passion and pace.

This role requires a lot of tough decisions which haven’t always been popular with everyone, but at the heart of every decision is always children and young people. Nothing has ever rattled my focus on doing what’s best for Kiwi kids and their education, and that won’t change for as long as I’m in this role. I know from personal experience that education can transform lives and I remain committed to making sure that every child and young person gets a great education in our fabulous country.

I am also keen to see a fresh candidate nominated in the marvellous seat of Mana and to provide voters with a strong contest at the next election! It has been a privilege being the List MP for Mana and I’ve particularly enjoyed seeing the growth of the Porirua Youth Awards which I established in 2010.

There is work still to be done with quality and participation in early learning, the embedding of our Communities of Learning, better provision and practice of inclusion and learning support, implementing digital technologies, continuing the funding review, passing the Education Act update legislation… so folks I’m still on it!

Nga mihi, Hekia

I would expect Parata to be moved out of the Education role in his pre-election reshuffle, and that may well be this year so new Ministers have time to get up to speed ready for election year.


Dear Ms Parata

Some children have their say on why they need for their school, not bulk funding & bigger class sizes


Can the English teachers help me out on whether this is some “shameful” or “shameless” shit.

I agree with Ben, more or less on both counts.

Shameful – worthy of or causing shame or disgrace.

Shameless – person characterised by or showing a lack of shame; barefaced or brazen.

It wasn’t an identified person who put these young children up to writing something that it’s hard to believe they would understand at all. They are being used – by a teacher or parent is bad enough, but also by the NZEI.

NZEI Te Riu Roa


Campaigns news from education union NZEI Te Riu Roa

Shameful, shameless, whatever. Using young children to promote union political campaigns is crappy, especially so of a union representing people who are supposed to care for children and their education.

It could almost be called dirty politics. It is dirty education.

Hipkins v. Parata on online learning

Chris Hipkins, Labour and the education unions seem to oppose just about every change proposed by the Government on education, so it is no surprise to see hackles raised over proposals on online education that may involve private providers.

On Tuesday Education Minister Hekia Parata announced in Biggest update to education in 27 years:

One of the proposals in the Bill is to modernise online learning through the establishment of Communities of Online Learning (COOLs).

“COOLs will be open to as wide a range of potential providers as possible to gain the greatest benefits for young people. This innovative way of delivering education offers a digital option to engage students, grow their digital fluency, and connect them even more to 21st century opportunities.

“There will be a rigorous accreditation process alongside ongoing monitoring to ensure quality education is being provided.”

So it was not surprising to see this come up in Question Time yesterday. The Government got in the first shot.


6. Dr JIAN YANG (National) to the Minister of Education: What recent announcements has she made about expanding 21st century learning options for parents and whānau?

Hon HEKIA PARATA (Minister of Education): Tēnā koe, Mr Speaker. Yesterday the introduction of the Education (Update) Amendment Bill was announced in this House. It is the biggest update to education in 27 years and will provide flexibility for parents and whānau, and for children and young people at the centre of learning. One of the proposals is the establishment of communities of online learning that will enable online learning in whole or in part as a supplement to classroom learning or a complement to what their schools offer. Digital fluency is the universal language of the 21st century. In the future a provider, including our mainstream schools, tertiary providers, or private providers will be able to apply to become a community of online learning. This will give students, parents, and whānau the benefit of a digital option, grow their digital fluency, and ensure they can be global citizens in an increasingly connected 21st century world.

Dr Jian Yang: What measures will she put in place to ensure the quality of education is maintained for the young people who choose this option?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: To become a community of online learning, a provider will be required to meet a very high threshold. They will be required to undergo an accreditation regime to ensure that students will have access to a great New Zealand education. They will also be subject to monitoring and an intervention regime, just like all our schools. Providers will also have to provide evidence of their capacity to provide pastoral care and to meet the well-being needs of students. They will be subject to an accountability regime, including reporting against agreed student achievement outcomes, financial reporting requirements, and Education Review Office reviews. We also propose to set strict enrolment criteria—for example, a restriction on the enrolment of students for whom there is a high risk of disengagement in an online environment. We welcome the submissions of parents, families and whānau, and the education sector to the select committee.

Then Hipkins asked Parata about the policy, with David Seymour,  John Key and Marama Fox joining in.

EducationCommunities of Online Learning

7. CHRIS HIPKINS (Labour—Rimutaka) to the Minister of Education: How will her Communities of Online Learning (CoOL) proposal differ from online charter schools in the United States, given a study partially funded by a private pro-charter foundation found students attending those schools lost an average of about 72 days of learning in reading, and 180 days of learning in maths during the course of a 180-day school year?

Hon HEKIA PARATA (Minister of Education): Significantly. As I set out in the answer to the previous question, before a provider could become a community of online learning, it must undergo an accreditation regime, be subject to an intervention regime, provide evidence of its capacity to provide pastoral care, be subject to an accountability regime, and demonstrate that it meets strict enrolment criteria—for example, a restriction on the enrolment of students for whom there is a high risk of disengagement in an online environment. We have put these checks and balances in place because, like the Labour Party members in their Future of Work document, we agree that—and I quote from Labour’s Future of Work document—”… people can obtain entire qualifications online with the same quality of direct learning and engagement as if they were on site.”

Chris Hipkins: Does her own regulatory impact statement state “Historically, academic achievement for New Zealand correspondence school students is lower than that of students in face-to-face education. Engagement can also be low.”; if so, what New Zealand evidence does she have that fully online learning that is allowed for in this proposal will result in better educational achievement?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: The member is damning 23,000 students, which is the roll of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura)—the biggest school in New Zealand—and of course it has problems and challenges. [Interruption] Absolutely, and the regulatory impact statement outlines that, so I am glad the member has taken advantage of it. But like all schools in New Zealand that do face difficulties with engagement and achievement, so too does Te Kura, and it does a significantly good job with those kids who have been disengaged from other schools. As Dame Karen Sewell, the chair of Te Kura, has already publicly said, she welcomes this new approach and looks forward to Te Kura becoming a community of online learning.

David Seymour: Is the Minister aware that the study referred to in the primary question was popularised earlier this week in the American show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; if indeed that is how the member researched his primary question, would that be an example of online learning?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: To answer that question in reverse order, yes, it would be an example of that; in answer to the first part, unlike the Opposition, who use overseas comedy writers as the font of their knowledge, we do not.

Rt Hon John Key: Does the Minister find it very odd when she constantly gets to read reports from people who claim that they want children in New Zealand to get a better education, especially the least well-off New Zealanders, but never want to do anything other than just back up their union mates?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: It is terribly disappointing for New Zealand parents, who are very focused on how they get the best education for their kids and are constantly obstructed by naysayers.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! A little less interjection from my immediate right.

Chris Hipkins: Is she seriously suggesting that a primary school child sitting at home in their bedroom in front of a laptop or a tablet is going to get an education at least as good as a child sitting in a classroom, surrounded by their peers, and with a fully trained and qualified teacher guiding their learning?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: Unlike the Opposition, I do not propose to prescribe for every child in this country or hypothetically—

Hon Annette King: Yes, you do.

Hon HEKIA PARATA: No, I do not, and that is why the bill is full of enabling provisions. We actually trust New Zealanders to make choices for themselves rather than have them prescribed to them by all-knowing other people.

Rt Hon John Key: Is the Minister aware that on Stewart Island the school there has 28 pupils and those 28 pupils are all learning Mandarin, the entire school, and they are learning online, and is that not a great thing—that young kids on Stewart Island are learning Chinese?

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The first part of the question is in order. Supplementary questions should have only one leg to them.

Hon HEKIA PARATA: I am aware of that. I am equally aware that Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Waiu o Ngati Porou in Ruatoria is teaching physics and chemistry in Te Reo Māori to other parts of the country. The members of the Opposition seem confused about this policy—because in my answer I made it clear that mainstream schools can be incorporated in this policy as providers of online learning.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! We now have a discussion between two front-benchers, which will cease.

Chris Hipkins: Can she confirm that all of the students mentioned in her answer and in the Prime Minister’s question were attending a school, and what evidence does she have that they will get an equally good education if they are at home by themselves without a teacher?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: Again the member falls victim to his own prejudices. In the policy that we have laid out we have said there is a full range of options of what these communities of online learning could be like. It includes provision by existing mainstream schools. It includes provision by existing tertiary institutions, and it includes provision for provision by private providers. We are not saying yet what proposals will be acceptable.

Chris Hipkins: Does she at least accept the irony that while she is talking about opening up more flexibility and choice she is massively reducing the flexibility and autonomy offered to existing public schools and subjecting them in the same bill to even more compliance and red tape?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: I do not, because this Government has invested over $700 million into those exact same schools to ensure that they can have digital technology—24/7 ultra-fast, good-quality broadband data, at no cost to them—and we have incorporated as of a month ago digital technology as a core part of the curriculum. This is a next step because this Government is future focused, living now in the present, and providing for our young people to be internationally connected. [Interruption] Yes, very disappointing for those still living in the past; I understand that.

Chris Hipkins: When her bulk funding proposal results in schools reducing the number of subjects on offer, is she going to suggest to those students who can no longer take the subjects in school that they want to that they can enrol online rather than have the teacher in front of them as they have had previously?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: First of all, I have no proposal around bulk funding. Second of all, in the funding review we are still in the middle of a consultation process. The third thing to know is that schools already offer blended learning and they do offer it outside the boundaries of their own school, and, fourthly, our Government is absolutely supportive of that kind of collaboration.

Rt Hon John Key: Has the Minister of Education seen a press release by the Labour Party from Jenny Salesa saying that when it comes to Pacific population and bilingualism in New Zealand, the associate education spokesperson for Labour said this is a crucial—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! There is absolutely no—[Interruption] Order! I do not need help from Mr Chris Bishop. There is, firstly, no ministerial responsibility, and, secondly, it is a question that I perceive is designed to attack the Opposition party, which is in breach of Speakers’ rulings.

Rt Hon John Key: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER: No, I am not interested in arguing about it. If it is another matter, I will happily hear it.

Rt Hon John Key: Yes. I seek leave to table the press release, then.

Mr SPEAKER: No, and I am not prepared to put the leave.

Marama Fox: In addition to digital technologies being made a core curriculum subject, will the Minister consider Te Reo Māori and the New Zealand Land Wars also being made a core curriculum subject?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: Te Reo Māori has exactly the same status in our curriculum as digital technology. It is available in any school where parents wish it to be available—

Hon Trevor Mallard: That’s not true.

Hon HEKIA PARATA: —and it is resourced accordingly—it is true. In terms of the—

Hon Trevor Mallard: Not true.

Hon HEKIA PARATA: Argh! So from the past! In terms of ngā whawhai nui o Aotearoa, because the Māori Party has made strong advocacy to beef up the resources around Māori history, we have developed a significant website. I thank the Māori Party for that constructive advocacy.

The Nation on social investment

This morning The Nation is looking at social investment, with an interview with Bill English, Hekia Parata and Anne Tolley lined up,.

You’ve never seen this before. We interview 3 ministers together- , &

This week social bonds programme had a big fail. So is his social investment approach working? Find out 9.30am TV3

Top panel today: & weigh in on social investment, housing, v National…

… our Twitter panel today are and

Stuff on Thursday: Govt social bonds pursued despite failed pilot

The Ministry of Health is still pursuing the Government’s social bonds pilots, claiming to have learnt a number of lessons after the Wise Group withdrew from what would have been the first programme funded with such an instrument.

Hamilton-based Wise Group, a charitable organisation seeking to enhance the well-being of people and communities, withdrew from negotiations with the Ministry over a potential social bond to fund a pilot delivering employment services to people with mental illnesses.

The Ministry kicked off talks with Wise and its financial arranger, ANZ Bank New Zealand, last year after the 2015 budget set aside $28.8 million for social bond programmes, “but at this late stage, they have advised they are not able to proceed with the contract”, Ministry chief strategy and policy officer Hamiora Bowkett said.

“That is not unexpected in a process like this and the work to progress the social bond continues,” Bowkett said.

“One of the goals of the pilot was to develop and grow knowledge in the market on outcome-based contracting and establish a toolkit of templates and lessons learnt, which are being applied to subsequent bond pilots. This has been achieved.”

A social bond allows the introduction of new, private money into social programmes without increasing public debt and without the need to decrease spending, with investors paid based on the level of social value achieved.

Points from The Nation’s Twitter feed:

Bill English says National committed to spending money now on at risk families to save money in the long-term.

Big data being used to target money to the most vulnerable 600 5 year-olds. But what about the 600 next most vulnerable? & next 600?

Hekia Parata: “we’re not about stigmatising kids”, but about giving teachers ability to put funds to kids who need it most.

Why don’t all deprived children get the same funds targeted at the bottom 1 percent? “Because they don’t need it,” says Anne Tolley.

English says Government both raising incomes through benefit increases and targeting funds to most in need.

Extra money given to most vulnerable under social investment approach. But don’t all 119,000 deprived kids need that?

Tolley admits Government does not track individuals coming off benefit. So can they know their lives are better, as per targets?

90 days of work a good indicator that a job is sustainable, says Tolley.

Will Government meet its BPS target of getting people off benefits? “It’s a very aspirational target,” says Tolley.

English says “we are following the evidence” that universal cash transfers are the best way to tackle poverty, by raising benefits”.

Three Government ministers deny social investment is privatisation by stealth, ‘not concerned about who delivers the services, but what works.

“Better lives” more important to English than saving money in his social investment revolution.

English slaps down RBNZ re policy on housing: we are making changes… “the Reserve Bank may not be familiar with those”.

“No we’re not committing to doing that” – English on negative gearing and immigration numbers.

I guess it’s one way to get noticed

Once again yesterday Winston Peters took both the NZ First slots in Question Time.

The first one, to the Minister for Building and Housing (Nick Smith), looks like a shambles.

And the second, to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (Paul Goldsmith) was very brief, with effectively only one question asked, and then four documents were tabled.

So how do other NZ First MPs get noticed? By using the forbidden word ‘lie’, refusing to withdraw and apologise and getting kicked out of the Chamber:

Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! Tracey Martin, we just need a little less interjection.

Chris Hipkins: If lack of enrolments is her justification for closure, why is she making it so hard for students to get in, with one family making five attempts over 2 years to enrol their intellectually disabled daughter, who was finally accepted into the school the day that the Minister announced her intention to try, once again, to close it?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: Lack of enrolments is not the reason that I am in discussion about Salisbury School. It is part of it, but, in fact, there has been a lack of enrolments over four successive years but it is also—[Interruption]—about the cost. [Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! Tracey Martin.

Hon HEKIA PARATA: If I could speak to the particular circumstance the member is raising: that family was trying to get into the intensive wraparound service that then gives the opportunity to consider a residential option; having been accepted into the intensive wraparound service, we then facilitated the enrolment at Salisbury School—that is the process.

Tracey Martin: What a lie.

Hon HEKIA PARATA: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The member has just said “What a lie” as part of her ongoing barrage. It is not a lie.

Mr SPEAKER: To Tracey Martin, if she is going to continue to interject like that she will create disorder. I require her to stand and withdraw that remark.

Tracey Martin: No, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER: Then the member will leave the Chamber. [Interruption] Order! Just leave the Chamber.

Tracey Martin withdrew from the Chamber.

Martin actually responded to “Just leave the Chamber”:

I will. It is untrue.

Martin starts interjecting at about 1:30 in.

That was as effective as Peters. Not at all.

185 schools in ERO’s worst performing category

The state of many New Zealand schools is substandard and failing many students according to a report from the New Zealand Initiative.

Jo Moir at Stuff reports Student achievement is improving in New Zealand but internationally Kiwis are slipping – report

School quality reports from the Education Review Office (ERO) reveal as of June last year 185 schools were in ERO’s worst performing category.

Of those schools, one-third were “persistent” poor performers and some had repeatedly failed students for at least a decade – spanning the entire schooling career of their students, says the New Zealand Initiative report.

That kind of underperformance wouldn’t be tolerated in other sectors but is “accepted in education”.

Lack of education is a major factor in many negative social outcomes, including health, crime, unemployment, parenting.

Very high illiteracy of prisoners shows that those who fail in schools are more likely to fail in society.

ERO has recently changed its approach from “asking about general performance to asking how primary schools are making sure that every single student is achieving at the level they need to”.

Poor performance has led to the Ministry of Education taking over all or some functions of 67 school boards – 51 per cent of the students affected are from schools made up of the poorest families.

Every three years New Zealand students sit the OECD’s PISA exams testing thousands of 15-year-olds on maths, science, reading skills and knowledge.

New Zealand’s position dropped from 7th place in reading, 7th in science and 13th in maths in 2009 to 13th, 18th and 23rd respectively in 2012.

On the other hand just this month Education Minister Hekia Parata congratulated students and schools on the “best-ever results in NCEA” – roll-based pass rates in level 1, 2 and 3 have all improved.

Teaching is a very demanding occupation.

Ministry of Education deputy secretary Lisa Rodgers said schools are supported to “resolve issues themselves” unless help is needed and the ministry steps in.

Data shows teacher turnover is increasing, and it is greater in lower decile schools, but again it isn’t recorded why teachers leave the profession and where they go.

The Education Council is the professional body for teachers and its professional services manager Pauline Barnes says it “cares about when teachers leave and why”.

“We will read the report in detail and then look at how we can respond.”

The ministry couldn’t provide a response on where or why teachers go because they “do not collect the data on the reasons why people move”.

“Because we want the best teachers teaching our students we are concerned about supply and also quality,” Rodgers said.

If they don’t know why teachers leave it makes it difficult to know how to try and prevent more teachers leaving.

Schools report: could do better. Must do better. The future success and well being of hundreds of thousands of children are at stake.