We’re Raising Student Achievement, says Hekia

By Hekia Parata
25th May 2012

This month Minister of Education Hekia Parata`s column focuses on educational achievement and how the budget will contribute to it.

Increased Education Spending

As Mana List MP for National, I am firmly focused on raising student achievement in our schools. The Budget 2012 will invest an extra $511.9 million in education over the next four years. This is the fourth consecutive Budget that the National-led government has increased education spending despite the difficult fiscal times.

Four out of five kids are successfully getting the qualifications they need from school and we must celebrate their success! However, this education plan is about getting five out of five.

In Budget 2012, we are not investing in more teachers; we are investing in better teaching. Evidence shows that the single most important thing we can do to raise achievement is to improve teaching quality. We will achieve this in the way we recruit new teachers and principals:

  1. Ensure that initial teacher education is improved and strengthen mentoring and coaching
  2. Introduce a post-graduate qualification as a minimum for all trainee teachers.
  3. Improve school leadership through the introduction of a new pre-principalship qualification.

And we will achieve it with the current teacher workforce of 50,000 teachers through a $304m investment in professional learning and development over the next four years.

To raise teaching quality we have to identify who is delivering successful practice and make that common practice. Performance pay is but one of a basket of options to reward and recognise good quality teaching and professional leadership.

 To help fund this investment, there will be a small change to teacher: student ratios. Actual class size is, however, determined by schools, and each year they adjust

classes based on their school’s circumstances.

The schools in Mana will benefit from our investment in teaching excellence. Education is critical to building both our social and cultural strength in the region and the productivity and growth of our local economy.

Education is a passport to a better life. These initiatives will be put in place to encourage kids to reach their potential. We want to create Kiwis that can fly!

Ngā Mihi