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Students behind in maths could earn $320,000 less

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 8 August 2023 -


Students behind in maths could earn $320,000 less


New analysis reveals that young people who are behind in maths go on to earn significantly less than their peers, National’s Education spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“Every numeracy level attained equates to a nine per cent increase in future earnings, according to a report from the Royal Society commissioned by this Government.

“Based on average wages, that is equivalent to roughly $7,000 per year or $320,000 over a working life.

“Sadly, recent National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement data shows that just 42 per cent of Kiwi students in Year 8 are tracking to the curriculum level.

“The study also showed that the achievement of students in low decile schools is a shameful two and a half years behind their peers in high decile schools.

“A National government will tackle our falling standards and ensure every student has every opportunity to succeed and live the life they want.”

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.

“Labour has made nothing but hollow promises in education. In his five years as Education Minister, Chris Hipkins presided over falling achievement, rock-bottom attendance levels, and growing inequalities between students in low and high-decile schools.

“Education has the power to change lives, but we won’t lift achievement in New Zealand by continuing to do the same things that are taking us backwards.

“National is committed to ensuring that 80 per cent of children are at or above the expected curriculum level for their age in reading, writing, maths and science by 2030.”



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