What are our values?

Education is one of the greatest investments that we can make in our children’s future.

UnitedFuture wants to see lifelong learning a reality, with barriers to education removed. We must invest in our teachers and our schools to ensure they keep pace with new technology and changing teaching methods.

Our focus is on;

  • Reviewing and reduce compliance burdens on teachers;
  • Investing in our teachers and school leaders;
  • Transitioning to modern learning;
  • Supporting our students.
What will we do?

Reduce compliance burden on teachers:

Simplify, with a view to reducing, the quantity and complexity of compliance requirements that education and care providers must fulfil.

  • Review National Standards to ensure that they are achieving best outcomes for children and work with teachers, parents and Ministry of Education to streamline (or remove).
  • Assess whether the same governance structure for schools as small as 9 students in remote rural locations as for large schools of over 2000 students, despite widely varying needs and pools of potential trustees, is appropriate.
  • Review the role and effectiveness of the Board of Trustees model, specifically succession planning, training, financial management, recruitment and retention, professional appointments, the development of special school characteristics and issues identified by managers during a statutory intervention.

Invest in our teachers:

School leadership is a critical factor in determining the tone and effectiveness of schools. Principals and their senior staff oversee curriculum delivery, assessment, the professional development of staff, timetabling, reporting to parents and the wider community, the pastoral care of students and much more.

  • Improve the provision of professional development for school teachers and leaders;
  • Offer more management training to primary teachers, to reflect the additional responsibilities beyond the walls of their classroom that many teachers carry out;
  • Fund a base level of Support Staff salaries separately from schools’ general Operations Grant;
  • Encourage more men to join the teaching profession at all levels, including ECE.

Transition to modern learning:

Education is changing as technology and new methods are adopted;

  • Provide funding for schools to provide technology for students, with immediate goal of one device between four students and aim to reduce ratio over time;
  • Prepare for the impact of changing modes of learning on school facilities (e.g. the use of flexible spaces for team teaching);
  • Provide funding for schools to modernise facilities;
  • Review funding available for IT initiatives and training for teachers to ensure they maintain current understanding of available technology.

Move towards compulsory te reo Māori:

Te reo Māori is part of our uniqueness and should be celebrated. As one of our official languages we need to properly resource our schools to include it within our education system;

  • Ensure government acknowledges the unique place te reo Māori has in NZ culture and our responsibility to protect and encourage it;
  • Set a goal to ensure that all New Zealanders have at least a basic understanding of te reo Māori through schools and community learning;
  • Work with schools, teachers, parents and iwi to develop a framework for implementation of te reo Māori in all schools;
  • Implement progressive roll out to allow schools to adapt and upskill where necessary.

Support our students:

Ensure that our children are supported throughout their education

What we've done?

Ensured best outcomes for teachers and students:

  • Initiated a select committee inquiry into the implementation of the NCEA qualifications system.
  • Lobbied successfully for more money for schools and NZQA to implement NCEA, to overcome the deficiencies identified by the select committee inquiry (2003 Budget).
  • Secured another $66 million over the next four years for schools’ operations grants (2004 Budget).
  • Successfully lobbied for an increase in the parental income thresholds for student allowances, thereby widening eligibility for allowances for an estimated 36,000 students. The ultimate impact of this measure will be to reduce reliance on the student loan scheme and the long-term burden that creates.
  • Secured a bonding scheme that provides 500 scholarships for tertiary students each year in return for a period of work in New Zealand after graduation as long as the duration of their scholarship (2005 Budget).
  • Secured $6 million to expand Modern Apprenticeships – providing an additional 500 Modern Apprenticeship places, bringing the total number to 9000 by December 2006 (2005 Budget).
  • Secured $7 million to fund foundation learning in the workplace, specifically for literacy and numeracy.
  • Secured additional funding of $22 million per school year from 1 January 2006 to increase schools’ operational funding by 2.4 percent.

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