2 Nov 2015

Govt suggests rewards, punishments for schools

5:21 pm on 2 November 2015

The Education Act could be changed to reward good schools and introduce new sanctions for those doing badly, the government says.

National MP

Education Minister Hekia Parata Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

It is reviewing the act, with the aim of setting clearer goals for the education system, and today published a discussion document on possible changes.

The document said schools that were doing particularly well could be given more freedom and decision-making rights, though it did not specify what those might be.

It said changes to the act could include more options for intervening in schools that were not doing well, such as formal warnings, audits, and compulsory changes to the make-up of schools' boards.

As reported by RNZ News earlier this year, the document also suggests making it easier for one board to govern several schools and for schools to accept new entrants in groups on set dates, rather than as soon as they turn five.

Education Minister Hekia Parata said the government wanted to change the Education Act so it could intervene more quickly in struggling schools.

The review suggested interventions that had a lower threshold than current options, and could occur much earlier, she said.

At other end of the spectrum, high-performing schools could be given more freedoms.

Submissions close on 14 December.

Read the discussion document (PDF, 968 KB)