Have your say on Tomorrow’s Schools proposals

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Simon Bridges is seeking feedback on what people in Tauranga think about the Tomorrow’s Schools proposals.

The Bay of Plenty MP and National Party leader will be holding a public meeting on Thursday at the Tauranga RSA.

He says The Tomorrow’s Schools proposals represent the largest education reforms in over 30 years.

“There is a lot of confusion in the community on what the reforms could mean for our children,” says Simon.

“Tauranga is the fastest growing city in the country and it is important that our community has a good understanding of what is being proposed and contributes feedback. 

“National has raised some serious concerns about the proposals which, in our view, could transfer power away from parents to officials.

“We want to discuss this and hear back from our community.

“Our hope is that local parents, trustees on school boards and people involved with educating school students will join us and have the opportunity to understand.”

An independent task force has made a number of recommendations.

It includes scrapping the 10 Ministry of Education regional offices and setting up 20 education hubs and each will have oversight of about 125 schools.

Principals can be shared across schools within a hub.

Hubs will decide student suspensions and also deal with complaints from student and parents.

Also recommended is a limit to the number of out-of-zone enrolments, limit donations that schools can ask for and ditching the decile system for an equity index, so disadvantaged schools get the money they deserve.

The report also recommends setting up an independent Education Evaluation Office, to report to parliament annually, to monitor the whole system and cut duplication across the Education Review Office, NZQA and Education Ministry.

The changes will take three to five years to put in place and need political consensus.

 The report does not have an estimate on costs, and the taskforce says costing is an important part of the next consultation phase.


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