The Opportunities Party Education Reform

Education and a Lifetime of Learning

We all want our kids to get the best start in life, but in a rapidly changing world, what does that look like? It certainly doesn’t look like what we have done in the past. As well as the 3Rs, increasingly employers are valuing soft skills, known in some circles as the 4Cs; communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.

New Zealand has previously performed well in international education surveys, but of late our performance is slipping. This is particularly a problem at the bottom end; some kids from poor families are falling behind and not catching up. We are currently following other countries down the line of greater assessment, and competition based on those results, when there is no evidence that will work.

Instead TOP will:

  • Invest earlier, in early childhood education. TOP aims to deliver free full-time early childhood education with a particular focus on improving quality in poorer areas;
  • Reduce assessment, giving more time for teaching and learning. TOP will delay National Standards until Year 6 and delay NCEA until student’s final year of school where they will have the choice of sitting NCEA Level 1, 2 or 3;
  • Encourage greater mixing by stopping the comparison of schools on assessment results or deciles, and encouraging people to use their local school;
  • Save money to reinvest in education (or reduce “donations”) by getting schools to cooperate, not compete;
  • Ensure teachers are highly trained, then trust them to get on and do the job;
  • Review the tertiary sector to ensure it is keeping up with the need for lifelong learning. 

Download the full policy document 

How do you feel about this policy?

Yes I support this policy
I might support this but I have questions. tell me more.
No I do not support this policy.

Latest posts on this topic

Five Reasons Why Performance Pay for Teachers is Dangerous Territory

The New Zealand Initiative’s new report calls for performance pay for teachers. It is an alluring concept, and one that intuitively appeals, after all we can all agree that good performers should be rewarded for their effort. However, when it comes to teaching that idea falls down on a detailed...

My Story: Gareth Morgan - Putaruru High School

When I attended it had 700 pupils – only 10 in Year 13. Nowadays it includes the town’s intermediate school years so goes from Year 7 (was 9) to 13 - & has 350 pupils. The roll is 35% Maori students which is well up as a percentage from my...

Education Backgrounder

Data shows that education, cognitive skills, and social and emotional skills all play a role in increasing health outcomes, income, and life satisfaction (OECD).  As New Zealanders we have a lot to be proud of when it comes to our education system and the way it contributes to our society....


Read more blogs on this topic here