National accuses Government of stealing policy to tackle falling literacy and numeracy rates in schools

The Government wants to improve falling literacy and numeracy rates in schools - making core teaching requirements for reading, writing and maths compulsory.

But National claims the Education Minister's stolen their homework, saying it announced a very similar policy.

On Monday Education Minister Jan Tinetti was in her element - the former teacher and principal loved being back in the classroom.

"I miss teaching every day but I know I can make a bigger difference for the system in what I'm doing now," she said.

And she's hoping Monday's announcement will do just that.

"We're making changes to make sure everyone's getting the best learning they possibly can," she said.

To combat falling literacy and numeracy rates, the Government's introducing compulsory core teaching requirements for reading, writing and maths. It's designed to bring consistency to classrooms across the country.

"This is ensuring our teachers have the best evidence, the best research, that they know the progressions that we're going to go on and take those young people. No child's going to miss out," Tinetti said.

An advisory group has been working for the past year to create the requirements called the common practice model.

They'll be released next term, rolled out in schools from next year, and then compulsory from 2026.

Primary teachers union the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) says the plan is a good one, it just needs to be resourced properly.

"As long as this is resourced and resourced - includes time as well as materials and so forth - then the teachers will be able to make good use of a repertoire of common practice they can draw on," NZEI president Mark Potter said.

But National's calling the Government copycats.

"What I think is quite fascinating is Labour has stolen our homework," National leader Chris Luxon said.

The party announced a policy earlier this year to enforce schools to teach an hour each of reading, writing and maths every day.

"Teaching one hour a day without the robustness of principles that underpin the best teaching and learning is very, very empty," Tinetti said.

"Well, no disrespect, I'm not taking any lectures from Jan Tinetti as Education Minister," countered Luxon.

Whoever's idea is better, it's clear education will be a hot topic in the lead-up to Decision 2023.