At our campaign launch last weekend, we announced National’s education plan to back young New Zealander’s and empower parents, teachers and schools.

It was more than just words.

A National-led Government will invest $379 million to provide our school students with stronger maths, technology and languages skills, as well as updating National Standards to give parents and teachers better information about how students are performing and where they need more support 

So, what are we doing?

First, we’ll provide every primary school student the opportunity to learn a second language.

If we want our children to succeed on the world stage, they need to be good cross-cultural communicators.

That is why National will invest $160 million over four years to provide schools and Communities of Learning with more expert language teachers, language specialists and online resources. 

Second, we’re committing to improve the maths skills of primary school students by investing an extra $126 million over four years. Maths is a fundamental subject that gives children vital problem solving skills for life.

We’ve set an ambitious target of having 80 per cent of 13 year olds at or above National Standards in maths by 2021, and we’ll give our children and their teachers the tools they need to succeed.

We will directly invest in our teachers by providing 1200 fully funded places a year for teachers wanting to undertake university-level papers targeted at teaching maths to primary students. We’ll also provide intensive support in the classroom to students who need it, in 1000 schools per year that need it the most.

Third, we want support young New Zealanders to succeed in the digital world and will invest $48 million over four years to introduce exciting new digital learning opportunities for senior students.

We’re introducing Digital Academies and Digital Internships for year senior students to give them practical, work-based learning opportunities with leading IT and digital companies.

These opportunities will be a springboard for students who want to pursue a career in this growing sector – building a direct pathway between skills gained in the classroom and jobs in the growing IT industry.

Finally, we’re empowering parents, teachers and schools by investing an extra $45 million to revamp the National Standards to provide more detailed information about how our kids are progressing right throughout the year. 

The current reporting system only gives a snapshot of how a child is performing. The new National Standards Plus will provide more information throughout the year about how our kids are progressing at a much more granular level – information that can be accessed online by children and their parents.

By moving reporting online, we’re helping teachers by streamlining paperwork and reducing workloads, meaning they can spend more time with students.

The new system will also help teachers to further tailor their classes by delivering faster, more detailed information about where their children are succeeding and where they might need more attention. 

Every part of National’s education package is about investing in and embracing the future of our children.

We’re empowering parents, teachers and schools, providing work-based opportunities in new digital industries, and equipping our kids with the skills they need to succeed in a more digital and internationally connected world.

I’m proud to be the Minister for Education in a government committed to securing, embracing and investing in New Zealand’s future.

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