What we're doing in education

We want to work together to create a modern, inclusive, and forward-thinking education system. One that will set our country up for the future. One that meets the needs of all our students - and their teachers. And one that will guide learning in New Zealand for generations to come. 

Take a look at what we've already achieved so far...

We want to make sure everyone is able to afford further post-secondary education or training if they choose. That's why we introduced first-year fees free for tertiary study.

In Budget 2018 we announced funding for hundreds of new classrooms and 1,500 new teachers. We're well on our way - building, rebuilding, upgrading and extending schools around the country. These are just the beginning - we'll be making further announcements throughout the year!  So far, we've:

  • provided more funding for a new primary school and more classrooms at existing schools in Auckland for 1200 students
  • begun rebuilding two special schools (Auckland's Sommerville and Christchurch's Allenvale)
  • begun delivering classrooms across the country, benefiting thousands students - you can see some of them listed here, and here.

We’re increasing support for early childhood education to ensure every young New Zealander gets a great start to life. This year's Budget represented the biggest increase in early childhood education funding outside of funding for growth since 2008 - the last Labour-led Government.

We're increasing access to additional learning support and the amount of support each child gets, with an additional $284 million investment over four years. It's the biggest increase in learning support funding for a decade.

We've reduced teacher workload by abolishing national standards. We're focusing on the progress and achievement of all children across the wider New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. This change will better acknowledge the different ways and pace at which children learn, and support teachers to provide more learning opportunities based on what children already know and can do. 

We released a three-year work programme which includes the NCEA review, a review of Tomorrow’s Schools, developing a future-focused Education Workforce Strategy, a continuous focus on raising achievement for Māori and Pasifika learners, an action plan for learning support, an early learning strategic plan, a comprehensive review of school property. This programme also includes a programme of change for vocational education, a full review of the Performance Based Research Fund and better support for the research aspirations of our tertiary sector.

We're addressing immediate teacher shortages by helping teachers to remain in or re-enter the profession with a number of initiatives including the Teacher Education Refresh Programme (TER), a $9.5 million teacher supply package. We extended this package in March allowing for approximately 780 more teachers to benefit from TER. We're also working on the first long-term plan in decades to match teachers with demand in a sustainable way.

We announced a pay rise of up to 30 per cent for hundreds of women working in education, who have fought for years to be paid fairly, in a historic settlement for pay equity. 

We introduced a $12 million professional support programme to help teachers get more professional support for digital technologies curriculum.

We're developing Māori pathways and integrating te reo into the curriculum. This includes addressing barriers facing tamariki and rangatahi, and creating Māori wānanga. This process is very much developed in consultation and collaboration with Māori experts. A series of wānanga are being held from Kaitaia to Dunedin to help shape the future of Māori education.

We are giving the teachers a stronger professional voice by restoring teachers to the Education Council and renaming it the Teachers Council to better reflect its function.

We funded 26 organisations across NZ in education contracts for Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom.

We launched a thorough review of NCEA - because we are committed to ensure the qualifications remains relevant.   

We led a New Zealand delegation at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession in Lisbon, Portugal, which furthered our relationships with other countries and our knowledge of best teaching practices from around the world.

We launched an All Equity Fund to give less-advantaged students better access to digital tools, skills, and knowledge.

We successfully won the bid to host the Asia-Pacific Association of International Education Conference and Exhibition in 2021, which will further our international relationships and ensure we become a world-leader in education.

We increased funding for the NCEA online programme, to give schools the option to run online exams, which are more efficient to administer and make results faster to access and analyse.

We started the biggest conversation about education since the 1930s which has been met with a huge public response. The Coalition Government is working towards developing a 30-year strategic approach to education in New Zealand. 

We introduced a new micro-credentials system which is set to be rolled out at the end of August. Micro-credentials will give both employers and people who want to keep learning more opportunities to access new skills quickly. 

We introduced a new cultural competency tool for teachers working with Pacific learners at Otahuhu Primary School in South Auckland. Tapasā is a teaching resource for early learning and school teachers that was developed by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with a Pacific Experts Panel. It aims to better support Pacific learners and enable teachers to have a better understanding of their world.

We made an agreement between the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and NASA to offer New Zealand tertiary students the chance to participate in NASA’s International Internships Programme.

These achievements are just the start - we know we can't make up for years of under-investment all at once. We're committed to making New Zealand's education system the best for students and for teachers. You can have a look here for a more general overview of what we're doing for Kiwi kids, or here for what we're doing for families - and keep an eye out for any updates to come!