Govt’s literacy and numeracy strategy gets an F

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 26 March 2022 -



Govt’s literacy and numeracy strategy gets an F


Desperate parents who were hoping for bold action to urgently improve education outcomes for their children continue to be let down by the Government, National’s Education spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“A damning report by The Education Hub painted a grim picture of the plummeting literacy standards in New Zealand. An earlier and equally damning report by the Royal Society of New Zealand revealed the same failures in numeracy at schools.

“The evidence is clear – we have a major literacy and numeracy problem on our hands.

“The Government’s long-awaited Literacy, Communication and Maths Strategy acknowledges there are problems, but it completely fails to provide any clear detail on how to address them.

“Instead, we got a vacuous and vague vision statement that called for an ‘evidence-based approach’ but with no detail about what the evidence actually says and how teaching of literacy and numeracy will align that evidence.

“It’s just more waffle and platitudes from a Government that is becoming increasingly notorious for their failure to deliver for Kiwis.

“Our kids deserve the best opportunity to become literate. It’s a fundamental skill needed to set them up for success. But right now they are being failed and the Government doesn’t have a clear plan to turn things around.

“Evidence shows the structured literacy approach will get kids off to the best possible start with their reading, yet it doesn’t get a single mention in the Government’s strategy.

“There is, of course, more to literacy education than phonics. But the Government’s strategy leaves the door open to approaches that aren’t as effective, putting us at risk of continuing down the same path we’re currently on with devastating consequences for our children.

“We need bold, decisive and urgent action to stop another generation of kids being let down by our education system.

“The Government’s strategy should be marked with an F for failure.”