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Biggest education update in 27 years

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/08/2016

Ms Parata says it's about enabling schools to provide flexible 21st century education. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Ms Parata says it's about enabling schools to provide flexible 21st century education. Education Minister Hekia Parata has brought a bill to parliament which she says sets clear school objectives for the first time.

The Education (Update) Amendment Bill provides for a National Education and Learning Priorities statement (NELP).

"For the first time, early childhood education providers, schools and kura will have clear objectives set," Ms Parata said on Tuesday.

"The purpose of NELP is to move to a system that is not just about delivering education but about student achievement, with clear accountabilities."

Ms Parata says it's about enabling schools to provide flexible 21st century education.

There is an option for parents and schools to enrol new entrants on the first day of a term closest to the child's fifth birthday.

At the earliest, children could start up to eight weeks before they turn five.

Another proposal is to establish Communities of Online Learning (COOLS).

Ms Parata says COOLS will be open to a wide range of potential providers under a rigorous accreditation process.

That's drawn criticism from the post-primary teachers association.

PPTA president Angela Roberts says it's blatant privatisation.

"Learning online is already here, ask any parent with children at school," she said.

"What this does is open up a market for any provider to get public funding to offer online education, in competition with public schools."

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