“New Zealand’s proud history of educational achievement is in decline, as kids stop attending class and standards are being lowered across the board. ACT hears ya, we’ve got a plan to make New Zealand’s education system world class again,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“A good education is the most important thing kids need if they’re to grow up to have a fulfilling life and be contributing members of society.

“When I entered Parliament, I made education my focus. I was responsible for Charter Schools which had high attendance rates and inspired children who the education system wasn’t working for. We need more out of the box thinking to keep students engaged.

“With shocking recent attendance figures, New Zealand is not a sustainable society. It is not passing enough knowledge from one generation to the next to maintain first world status.

"In Term 2 of this year, 60 per cent of students did not attend regularly. It gets worse by decile, with only 23 per cent of Decile 1 attending regularly. In Northland, only 28 per cent of all students attend regularly.

“We need real change to our education system so we have better outcomes for New Zealand children and ultimately the entire country.

ACT would:

• Establish a $250 million a year Teaching Excellence Reward Fund to reward excellence in the classroom, encourage professional development, and deliver better educational outcomes

• Ensure daily national attendance reporting is conducted, with mandatory reporting from schools

• Create a traffic light system that sets out and requires actions to be taken over persistent truancy

• Ensure Police use section 49 of the Education and Training Act to give out fines to parents of persistent truants

• Reduce the number of back office bureaucrats at the Ministry of Education by 50 per cent, saving $240 million a year. We will put this money back into frontline education

• Provide every child with a Student Education Account. Parents will be able to use it at any registered educational institution that will accept their child’s enrolment, public or private

• Increase choice in our education system by allowing any state school to apply to become a Partnership School

“We need real change to our education system so we have better outcomes for New Zealand children and ultimately the entire country.”

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David Seymour