“The expensive and dangerous experiment on children using “Modern Learning Environments” has now been exposed for what it is, it’s time to dump this policy and put schools in charge of their property choices,” says ACT's Education spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“Overwhelmingly parents and principals have told ACT they don’t support “Modern Learning Environments.”  

“A report by the New Zealand Initiative released this morning shows that there is no data or evidence to support the policy, it’s just based on ideology. The Ministry of Education used its influence as a funder of school property to push its play-based learning agenda.

“Worst of all, successive education Ministers from Anne Tolley to Hekia Parata to Nikki Kaye to Chris Hipkins simply stood by and watched while the zealots experimented with children’s futures.

"There is no clearer example of why the zealots who make up the Ministry should be reined in and made accountable. ACT’s Student Education Accounts would put parents in charge of their kids’ education.

“It’s extraordinary that the Ministry of Education did not research what the effects on children would be, nor did they evaluate the effects once they’d established them.

“Our education standards are falling across every measure and truancy is out of control. This has been greatly exacerbated by Labour removing education standards, persisting with these learning environments and kids becoming disengaged after lockdown and disruptions.

“It’s time we put academic knowledge back at the centre of learning. Children should be receiving instruction in academic knowledge from able teachers. Given the fact that so many Innovative Learning Environments have been built, the immediate step should be to carry out an evaluation.

“This policy was introduced by National in Government. As Hekia Parata said "Every new school building must meet the Modern Learning Environment standard and every existing school must prioritise the property funding they receive from the Ministry of Education to upgrade their buildings to the Modern Learning Environment standards ..." Charter Schools, by contrast, were not required to adopt innovative learning environments. ACT is now calling on National to renounce Innovative Learning Environments.

“High educational achievement has always been a priority for the ACT Party. ACT would dump this policy. We would reintroduce Charter Schools. We would introduce a Teaching Excellence Reward Fund and we would prioritise professional development for teachers in the basics, like english and mathematics.”

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Chris Baillie