Plans to reinstate the skills leadership role to Industry Training Organisations (ITO) and to get rid of communities of online learning have been announced by the Minister for Education.
The proposals form part of a range of legislative changes Chris Hipkins is considering for later this year.
From 2004 to 2014, the ITOs had a skills leadership role for their respective industries. This included identifying current and future needs, developing training plans to help the industry meet those needs, and promoting training that will meet those needs to employers and employees.
In 2014, the National-led Government removed the legislative mandate for ITOs to provide skills leadership for their industries. A discussion document recently published by the Ministry of Education includes a proposal to re-introduce this skills leadership role.
Chris Hipkins is also proposing to get rid of the provision introduced by National to provide for the establishment of communities of online learning.
A 2017 amendment to the Education Act 1989, which is not due to come into effect until 31 December 2019, allows for any school, tertiary institution, or private entity to apply to become a community of online learning. These communities would not be required to employ registered teachers or teach the national curricula.
The Minister said the government is “proposing to do away with a policy that enables private entities to become accredited as communities of online learning and make a profit out of it.”
In addition to these two changes, the Ministry of Education is also inviting comments on a number of other issues including:
- protecting the public interest in Education Council decision making
- establishing a College of Educational Leadership
- making student welfare a registration criteria for private schools
- ensuring appropriate safety and police vetting requirements