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Labour backflips and copies National’s homework

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 21 August 2023 -


Labour backflips and copies National’s homework


After six years of being completely directionless in education, Labour has copied part of National’s policy in a desperate attempt to turn around plummeting educational achievement, National’s Education spokesperson Erica Stanford says.


“Labour is so completely clueless in education that they are waiting to see National’s policies and simply copying our homework.


“After six months of attempting to critique National, Labour has today announced one part of National's four-part Teaching the Basics Brilliantly policy but leaving out core elements that make the policy effective.


“National has already said that it will rewrite the curriculum to outline exactly what kids should be learning each year to ensure consistency. Furthermore, a National government will ensure that reading, writing and maths are taught for an hour a day, with twice-yearly light-touch assessments to ensure that students are progressing.


“This is a complete 180 from Labour, with Chris Hipkins having strongly stated last year that the Government has no business telling teachers how to teach.


“Labour has spent six years floundering in Education and the refreshed curriculum is an inconsistent mess of competing approaches.


“More and more high schools across the country are showing their lack of faith in the Government's curriculum and standards change package by ditching NCEA Level 1.


“Labour has spent an extra $5 billion and hired 1,400 additional bureaucrats but presided over worse achievement, terrible school attendance and growing inequalities between students in low and high-decile schools.


“Unlike Labour, National will ensure that kids spend at least an hour a day on maths, reading and writing with regular assessments to ensure they are on track with their learning. For our children to succeed and go on to live the lives they want, they need to be able to do the basics.”


National’s plan to Teach the Basics Brilliantly will:

  • Ensure that primary and intermediate students spend an hour on average on reading, writing, and maths every day.

  • Set minimum requirements for what schools must teach every year in reading, writing, maths and science.

  • Implement regular standardised assessment and clear reporting to parents.

  • Deliver better training and more tools to support teachers with teaching the basics.



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