Literacy and numeracy are still declining

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 06 May 2022 -


Literacy and numeracy are still declining


The 2021 NCEA results confirm that literacy and numeracy achievement is going backwards under Labour, National’s Education spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“Literacy attainment for year 11 students at decile 1-3 schools has seen a huge drop, falling from 78.5 per cent to 74.8 per cent in just one year. Numeracy attainment also declined, falling from 76.9 per cent to 73.8 per cent.

“The same sad trend is evident for Māori students, with year 11 attainment in literacy dropping from 78.2 per cent in 2017 to just 73.1 per cent last year, while numeracy fell from 76.7 per cent to 70.8.

“Despite an extra $5 billion a year being poured into education, achievement is going backwards and it’s unclear where all the money is going. One thing that is clear, sadly, is this Labour Government is failing to deliver in Education and Kiwi children are paying the price.

“In 2021, National called on Labour to urgently prioritise catching students up who had been disrupted by lockdowns. The decline in NCEA results confirm they failed to do this.

“Worse still, 40 per cent of children are not even going to school regularly, while the number chronically absent students from school has surged by 50 per cent under Labour. That’s not just a social failure – it’s a future economic crisis.


“Education is one of our most powerful tools to break the cycle of poverty. To give all children the chance to be successful and compete with the best in the world, we must do better.

“The desperate state of education in this country speaks to a part time Education Minister who has taken his eye off the ball and is failing our most vulnerable children. Minister Hipkins should stop worrying about banning fizzy drinks in schools and instead focus on teaching the basics and making sure kids are in actually in class.”