In December 2019, the Government introduced the Education and Training Bill. The Bill is the biggest rewrite of education legislation in decades. Parliament is currently considering the Education and Training Bill which aims to give all ākonga a more high-quality, culturally responsive, seamless and inclusive education, from early learning, through to schooling at primary and secondary levels, and on into tertiary education, vocational training and employment.
It brings all legislation on early learning, schooling and tertiary education into a single statute. It supports the Government’s objectives for an ākonga-focused, high quality, culturally responsive and inclusive education system.
Proposed amendments include:
- State and state-integrated schools and kura being able to temporarily offer distance learning, including NCEA, to ākonga based off-shore who enrolled with the school or kura in 2020, on a case-by-case basis.
- Providing the Secretary for Education with new powers to act when a state of emergency is in place.
- Allowing for the use of grand parenting provisions to allow siblings to attend the same school or kura where a new or amended home zone has been put in place.
- Additional requirements for new early learning service applications. The new requirements take into account the needs of tamariki and the community, the applicant’s character and licensing history, and the organisation’s financial position to help determine whether an application should be approved.
- A clarification of the existing law that all adults who live in or are present in a home in which tamariki are receiving early learning services must be vetted.
- Enabling the Education Review Office (ERO) to obtain information from early learning service parent entities.
The Minister of Education is proposing to make changes to the Bill to extend the Education (Pastoral Care of Domestic Tertiary Students) Interim Code of Practice by one year, to January 2022.
This is to allow time for full consultation on a long-term Code of Pastoral Care and a dispute resolution scheme. If this becomes law, the Interim Code could be in place for a year longer than intended.
NZQA has also released the Implementation Guidance for the Interim Code of Practice. This is to help tertiary education organisations put the Interim Code into practice and achieve its outcomes. The guidance is an optional tool and is available on the NZQA website.
More information about the Interim Code of Practice, and the amendments to the Education and Training Bill can be found in the Cabinet Paper here, and in the Education and Workforce Select Committee report back on the Bill.
You can read here about the provisions of the Bill as introduced. Most of these provisions are unchanged.