National wants to ensure children from all parts of New Zealand and all family backgrounds have opportunities to succeed in life through our education system. While New Zealand can be proud of our education system overall, we know that there are some areas which require improvement.

These include longstanding issues of inequity, not enough collaboration with a large number of schools especially for a small nation, and some challenges in attracting and retaining high quality teachers. We are concerned that we have an education system that has not provided enough support to children with complex needs. We also have ageing infrastructure and challenges in areas of high growth where more classrooms are needed. The last National Government made progress on these issues but there is a lot more work to do.

Under the last National Government we saw some big improvements in young people achieving NCEA level 2. There was a significant improvement for Māori and Pasifika students in achieving NCEA level 2 or equivalent. This has been achieved through initiatives such as Communities of Learning which has seen some schools collaborating more to lift achievement.

National wants to ensure all children are healthy, skilled and motivated lifelong learners. We have set out the challenges and opportunities in education as we see them, and presented some solutions. This document does not cover all areas of education policy but it does signal some areas of focus. We look forward to the public debate and the opportunity to talk about an issue that matters so much to us and to all New Zealanders.

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