(National Party media release)

The falling standards in our education system are clearly demonstrated by a recent NCEA [National Certificate of Educational Achievement] pilot which showed a staggering two-thirds of Kiwi students would fail the new literacy and numeracy standards, National’s Education spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“Documents released to National show that pass rates in the 2021 pilot were just 34.5 per cent in writing, 66.9 per cent in reading and 65.3 per cent in numeracy.

“As students must attain all three standards before gaining NCEA, these results translate into just one in three students achieving our national curriculum.

“The results from this pilot are alarming and are another sad reminder of the sustained decline of education standards in New Zealand which has been ongoing since the 1980s.

“Under Labour, standards have continued to drop, with the Minister of Education Chris Hipkins admitting earlier this year that the performance of New Zealand students is getting worse.

“Labour has no plan. Their only action has been to release a waffly strategy document which contained no details on how they would turn around falling standards.

“When only 60 per cent of students are attending school regularly, that is a clear indication Labour needs to prioritise getting kids into the classroom because they cannot achieve if they are not there.

“We know that attendance is the most important indicator of student achievement and education is the strongest tool we have to ensure every kid gets an equal chance in life to be successful.

“Without change, our literacy and numeracy standards will continue to decline. This is not just a social failure but a future economic crisis.

“Labour’s lack of delivery is failing a generation of children.”