National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye will hold public meetings throughout New Zealand to listen to parents and teachers concerns and views on education issues. The meetings will have a particular focus on the Tomorrow’s Schools Review.
“The review has the potential to impact every part of our education system. That’s why it’s very important to give parents, students, teachers, principals and the around 19,000 parents and trustees who currently sit on boards the opportunity to have their voice heard.
“The Tomorrow’s Schools Review Taskforce has undertaken significant consultation but it is clear from discussions with a number of parents, Boards of Trustees and some educators they are not aware of all of the recommendations.
“I expect we will hold at least 30 public meetings throughout the country from February to April next year with local Members of Parliament. Once complete, we will provide a summary of the feedback from the public meetings to the taskforce.
“National has raised some serious concerns about the creation of around 20 new Crown entities called Education Hubs, which would transfer more responsibilities from parents to bureaucrats. We are concerned that parents will be disempowered as a result of the model.
“However, there are some positive aspects of the report in areas such as learning support and we believe there is a need to improve governance and collaboration in our education system. The proposed changes are far reaching and must be carefully considered.
“The meetings will include main centres such as Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Christchurch, Dunedin, and Invercargill but will also be held in smaller communities such as Stewart Island. We will be working over the next three to four weeks to finalise the arrangements for the meetings.
“The changes proposed by the taskforce cover almost every aspect of our school system, including governance, teaching and learning, learning support, and enrolment schemes.
“This is a once in a generation chance to make some significant changes to our education system. I look forward to engaging with communities around New Zealand on these issues.”