Priorities for education

Download Priorities for education (September 2017)

CPAG will be releasing five documents on five key election topics that will look at how evidence based policy changes can reduce child poverty if implemented after the next election. As a measure of the impact of these policy changes in real life terms we are asking all political parties to commit to reducing the annual number of child hospital admissions for poverty related preventable diseases from 40,000 to 20,000 by 2022. The five key election documents focusing on topics of health, social investment, incomes, housing and education.

Access to healthcare, dry and warm housing, and sufficient family income provide the foundation for children’s wellbeing, so they are able to thrive, and to learn. At the same time, it is crucial that that the education system is resourced adequately so that children from all socioeconomic backgrounds can flourish.

Public schooling in New Zealand is contributing to a significant financial burden upon families, especially for those who are already experiencing hardship. This is in part due to the hidden costs of a ‘free education’, which fall to families to spend on items such as ‘voluntary donations’, uniforms, trip costs, examination fees, and the increasing costs associated with a digital curriculum, such as tablets and laptops. The sad reality is that the longer students stay at school, the greater the pressure on their families to bear the financial costs of them being at school.

CPAG recognises the weight of research confirming the vital importance of early education in providing young children with foundations for learning and life.  

CPAG is calling on the incoming government to:

  • Ensure that high quality, culturally responsive early childhood education is available for all children in early childhood care and education (ECCE) by requiring 100% degree-qualified teachers in all ECCE centres.
  • Markedly increase funding for public education to ensure that expenditure on education becomes less of a household burden, and introduces systems to ensure that a genuinely free public education in New Zealand can be guaranteed.

CPAG has just released the fifth in a series of policy recommendations - Priorities for education. This paper focuses on improving funding in the public education sector so that all children have the opportunity for educational success.