The start of a new school year is upon us and students all across the country are heading back to the classroom.
I firmly believe that good education can change a child’s life.
It can help those from the most challenging backgrounds reach their potential and climb the ladder of opportunity.
It is that opportunity to succeed that I want for every child, from any family.
The National-led Government is working hard to ensure all our children get the best education they can. We are making great progress with children starting earlier in education, staying longer, and leaving better qualified.
Since we came into government, we have almost doubled our investment in early childhood education to get more young children into education earlier and increase their chances of future educational success.
At school, we introduced National Standards, so that we would have better data to help identify where more effort and resources need to be focused to raise achievement.
We are now investing $359 million over four years to keep our best teachers in the classroom and share expertise and leadership across schools to lift children’s achievement.
Evidence shows that quality of education and school leadership are the two most important factors in a child’s education. That is why we are investing in these areas.
The first 11 communities of schools, which together have 38,000 students, have begun working together at the start of this year and more are expected to be approved shortly.
To date, 91 expressions of interest to form communities of schools have been received, which involve 437 schools from different areas of the country.
Last fortnight, I was in Waitangi for our National Day. This year was a very special visit as we celebrated the 175th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty.
The Government has a busy agenda for this term and will be working hard to continue making strides in the areas that really matter and make a difference to all New Zealanders, like education.
I wish all the students heading back to school all the best for the year ahead.
Make the most of it and enjoy 2015.
John Key is Prime Minister of New Zealand