We saw student National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and Early Childhood Education attendance hit record highs in the Better Public Service targets.

We saw the astounding growth of Communities of Learning | Kãhui Ako to the point where now more than half of our schools – 1264 out of 2416 – or in excess of 410,000 students, have opted in.

We saw the Education Legislation Bill pass in to law and the Education Act Update pass its First Reading and reach Select Committee stage.

It was also the year we opened the doors of many new innovative learning spaces and many new schools.

Behind all of this success is the strong backing of education from this John Key-led Government.

This year saw record investment of more than $11 billion.

That’s more than we spend on police, defence, transport, conservation and foreign affairs combined.

This represents a 35 per cent increase in funding for schools since 2008.

Over the same period funding for Early Childhood Education has more than doubled.

I have briefly touched on the record levels of achievement in NCEA reported this year.

According to roll-based data, this extends across levels 1, 2, and 3.

We also saw an increase in the number of school leavers attaining university entrance.

Our biggest concern remains the same as it is most years – that our young people get the best, most relevant education possible.

We know that a good education is a passport to success.

We want all of our young people to gain this passport and go on to realise their potential.

We are part of an increasingly competitive global market and we must ensure that our kids can be successful here at home as well as internationally.

I will continue to focus on ensuring that our educational system supports every Kiwi kid to find a pathway that works for them.