National will deliver world-class education

A National Government will ensure every child gets a world-class education so when they leave school, they can lead the life they want, National Leader Christopher Luxon says.

“Education has the power to change lives. It allows children to gain the skills and knowledge they need for further education and to go on and lead successful lives.


“Since coming to politics, the systemic failure in New Zealand’s education system is what has shocked me more than anything else.


“Two-thirds of secondary school students failed to meet the minimum standard in reading, writing and maths, while 98 per cent of Decile One Year 10 students failed a basic writing test.


“This is utterly unacceptable. That’s why today I am announcing National’s plan for ‘Teaching the Basics Brilliantly’, which will ensure every child has the skills they need in reading, writing, maths and science to set them up for further success.


National will:


  1. Require all primary and intermediate schools to teach an hour of reading, an hour of writing and an hour of maths, on average, every day.


  1. Re-write the curriculum so it says what must be taught each year in reading, writing, maths and science to every year group in primary and intermediate schools.


  1. Require standardised, robust assessment of student progress in reading, writing and maths at least twice a year every year from Year 3 to Year 8, with clear reporting to parents.


  1. Ensure that teachers and teacher trainees spend more time learning how to teach the basics. We’ll also provide them with more classroom tools and lesson plans to help them teach reading, writing, maths and science.


“National will set a target of 80 per cent of Year 8 students being at or above the expected curriculum level for their age in reading, writing, maths and science by 2030.  


“Further, we’ll aim to return New Zealand students to the top 10 in the world in maths, reading and science, measured by the OECD’s PISA rankings, by 2033.


“Labour has spent $5 billion more on education and hired 1400 more public servants, yet our children are going backwards. After nearly six years of a Labour government, there’s been no improvement in Year 8’s results. Only 45 per cent of Year 8 kids are at the level they should be in maths and only 35 per cent are at curriculum level in writing.


“This just cannot continue. We won’t lift education achievement in New Zealand by continuing to do the same things that are taking us backwards. National wants every child to have the chance to lead the life they want, and education is a key part of that.


“Today’s announcement is just the first part of National’s wider education policy, and we will have more to say in the lead up to the election.”


Read our Teaching the Basics Brilliantly policy here.