Failing education standards won’t help wellbeing

News that New Zealand’s 13 year olds have recorded their worst-ever results in the latest international comparison study (TIMMS) should be ringing alarm bells across the education sector, National’s Education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“We rightly focus on the wellbeing of our children, but we can’t forget that equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a competitive world is critical to their wellbeing and that of their families.

“We aspire to high living standards, but we won’t continue to achieve those high living standards if our educational achievement is falling off the pace internationally.

“While these are long-standing issues, the study results show that we urgently need a greater focus on educational achievement at primary and intermediate schools. Our best schools are doing a great job, but too many children appear to be missing out on the opportunities they need.

“These results show more needs to be done to ensure children arrive at secondary school with firm foundations in core areas of reading, writing and maths.

“National is prepared to have meaningful discussions with the sector about what’s being taught, how it’s been taught and how we assess progress externally at key points.”