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National: Fails to achieve

The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Despite all their rhetoric about focusing on the basics, this study proves that New Zealand is still lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to maths and science.

“At best you could say our performance in these areas is stagnant. Since TIMSS was first published 20 years ago, the change in the performance of New Zealand students has been negligible.

“After a significant drop following the election of the National Government, any recent gains have barely made up for lost time.

“National’s approach of restricting the focus of our education system to a narrow range of performance measures has failed, just as all the research and evidence suggested it would.

“At the same time, National has been starving schools of the funding and resources they need to actually make progress.

“The release of PISA next week will be another chance to scrutinise National’s approach and, unless there are significant gains for New Zealand in that study, parents will be right to further question the damaging impact of this Government’s approach to education.

“Labour will put the focus back on a broad, varied, quality schooling experience for every child. We will end National’s funding freeze and make sure our schools get the resources they need,” says Chris Hipkins.