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Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard



Question No. 1—Education

1. JAN TINETTI (Labour) to the Minister of Education: What reports has he seen in response to the Government’s reform of Tomorrow’s Schools?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Minister of Education): The reforms have been broadly welcomed. IHC have said the announcement “goes a long way to ensure that disabled children get a fair go at school.” NZEI Te Riu Roa have said, “What we’ve seen today provides hope, and focuses on greater support for school leaders and teachers to meet the needs of our students, while still empowering local [school] Boards of Trustees.” Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand has said, “This will be a major transformative change for the education sector and will require everyone to be brave and to embrace the future.”

Jan Tinetti: What response has he seen to the new disputes and mediation panel?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: I was particularly heartened by feedback from the Children’s Commissioner, received via Twitter yesterday, that said, “Today’s announcement by Minister Hipkins that parents and students will have access to a free, independent & prompt disputes panel to appeal BoT decisions is a win for our children. We have long been advocating for this. Currently students who face exclusion can only go to the costly High Court to appeal or [to] the Ombudsman. Access to education for all is one of our top priorities and this is a great step forward.”

Jan Tinetti: What response has he seen to the changing responsibilities for school property?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: I was particularly encouraged by the Secondary Principals Council, who said, “Another positive is the move to the Ministry of Education having more of a support role in schools. In particular, moving property to the new Education Support agency will let boards focus on governance rather than red-tape.”

Jan Tinetti: What response has he seen to a local approach to enrolment schemes?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: I have seen one or two principals who have said that this is a step too far. However, I have also seen the Auckland Secondary Schools Principals’ Association, who have said that, if anything, the changes don’t go far enough in discouraging out-of-zone enrolments. So I think we’ve probably got the balance about right.

Hon Grant Robertson: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Has the Minister seen any knee-jerk negativity in reactions?

SPEAKER: Order! Sit down.