Raising achievement in schools

Column Articles
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The new school year is starting (thankfully) and like my wife and I you are probably very pleased they are heading back!

We all want to make sure that our kids are getting the best education they can – and we have great schools in the Bay. But what do modern schools look like these days? I can assure you they are quickly changing from formal type environments to open collaborative spaces that really encourage learning.

One of the ways we are improving education and encouraging this new style of learning is investing in greater collaboration between schools, improved transition through the education system for children, and better career pathways for teachers.

National’s $359 million education initiative will achieve that through Communities of Learning. These involve groups of schools working together to improve educational outcomes.

Kids will benefit from shared teaching practices and expertise, with teachers working alongside each other on goals to help improve outcomes in the classroom.

Over 15 schools in the Bay are currently connected to a Community of Learning with this number growing by the term.

We’re also providing the infrastructure to support our schools.  Part of ensuring every child gets the best possible education is providing modern learning environments. 

The Government has invested more than $4 billion in school property maintenance, growth, and modernisation over the past seven years – more than a 30 per cent increase on the previous seven years. This funding continues with Papamoa College receiving $5.1 million to expand to 1,500 students in years 7 – 13. This will add roughly 400 new students to the current 1,100 students in years 7 – 10.

Golden Sands School will also receive a boost in funding and have been granted $3 million to expand to 520 students in years 1 – 6, up from 420 students in years 1 – 5 at the moment.

We have invested in and rolled out fibre connections to 90 % of schools, (100% in the Bay) connecting them to the Network for Learning.  The network provides fast, reliable internet complete with uncapped data, web filtering and network security services. 

National is harnessing the latest technology to deliver the best learning opportunities for New Zealand children. Better internet access and connectivity with the world will prepare students for living and working in the modern world. 

We are working hard to ensure all Kiwi kids have the resources and support they need to engage in learning and succeed.

This wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated teachers, our school leaders, and parents and whanau who make sure their kids are getting to school on time and doing their homework.

Together, we’re all making sure Kiwi children have the best shot at achieving in school and going on to lead happy, successful lives.