The purpose of education is twofold: to provide the ability to think independently and critically and also to give character to intelligence so that a person equipped with both will have a productive and satisfying life of achievement.
- Remove the political interference from education so that our system is about education not indoctrination.
- New NZ will support and expand diversity in the delivery of quality education. These would include but not be limited to academies, private or charter schools. In particular we support state-integrated schools which currently account for 11.4% of all NZ schools which out-perform state schools in achievement and who manage their own property portfolio.
- Bring in suitably qualified business managers to run schools in tandem with an academic principal. Schools are multimillion dollar investments by taxpayers and it is the responsibility on behalf of those taxpayers that we get value for money and higher achieving outcomes for our students.
- Priority of the school curriculum to be based on achieving high quality practical applications for a well-rounded, resilient citizen who gains options to be a well-adjusted contributing and productive adult. Note – in Japan, for example, the first few years are devoted to teaching manners and character, good judgement, individual responsibility and resilience.
- Advance educational choice and innovation, recognising that not all students respond to the same educational opportunities in the same way. We should encourage competition among schools to specialize thereby providing a range of options for parents and students alike.
- Annual assessments to be undertaken to assist parents and teachers to better support their children’s educational needs. This includes evaluating the performance of teachers and administrators. However, unnecessary practices such as wasteful documentation and tick-box approaches that undermine teaching practice should be eliminated.
- Universities must be made more financially accountable for the educational outcomes they provide. Their primary obligation is to impart students with the knowledge and skills needed to secure jobs in the field of their study.
- Vocational education programs should be embedded in secondary schools as options in concert with academic programs, for those students who want the knowledge and skills to get into the trades. These could be provided by the schools themselves or in partnerships with ITO’s to better align training with their intended careers.