New Zealand Labour Party

Teaching still the key to student success

Quality teaching will always be far more important than school buildings, but that doesn't mean we can't deliver on both, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

"The Government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars rebuilding old schools, and that's a good thing, but they need to invest in teachers’ professional development and the support to go with it.

"A flash new learning environment won't make much difference to student learning if the teaching practice doesn't change to match it. More personalised learning requires a change in approach.

"Concerns raised today by teachers and school leaders about modern learning environments need to be taken seriously. They're rightly pointing out that the quality of teaching will always be a far bigger contributor to student success than the building it happens in.

"Schools also need more flexibility to determine what kind of learning spaces will work best for their student community. I agree that the Ministry of Education can be too inflexible when signing-off school building plans.

"Recruiting, training and supporting the best teachers will be Labour's top priority in education. We will raise the bar for new teachers entering the profession, revamp teacher training, and provide much more professional development and support to teachers throughout their careers.

"Old schools do need to be rebuilt and modernised. But to get the best return from that investment, it needs to be matched with investment in the people that work in them," Chris Hipkins says.