Hui Taumata 2005: Māori in Early Childhood Education and Schools

Publication Details

This analysis of trends in Māori in early childhood education and schools was commissioned for Hui Taumata 2005.

Author(s): Siobhan Murray and Amy Galvin, Education Information and Analysis, Ministry of Education. Commissioned for the Hui Taumata Steering Committee.

Date Published: January 2005

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Executive Summary

Introduction

This paper provides some information on Māori students in early childhood services and schools. It has been prepared at the request of the Hui Taumata Steering Committee to give information on education trends for Māori over the last 20 years. The paper covers the number and proportion of Māori students engaging in education, what type of education is being provided and what is being achieved.

The statistics discussed in the paper are very broad and intended only as an overview. They talk about the average achievement of large groups of Māori students. As with any other group of students, there can be large differences between the achievement of individuals. Some will do exceptionally well, whilst others may not.

Summary

The total number of Māori children enrolled in early childhood education has been increasing steadily over the last decade. The number of Māori students at New Zealand schools has also been growing, and the proportion of young Māori in the population is expected to grow considerably over the next twenty years.

Over the last eighteen years more Māori students have been staying at school in the senior years. However, fewer Māori students remain at school compared to non-Māori students. Māori students are consequently more likely to leave school with no or limited qualifications every year since 1990. Māori students are consistently stood-down or suspended from school at higher rates than non-Māori, and are more likely to be truant from school.

There has been a dramatic increase over the last decade in the number of Māori students in Māori immersion education. Māori parents' representation on school boards of trustees has also increased. The number of Māori teachers is growing. Māori students' achievement of NCEA qualifications is improving.

The number of Māori children is growing

The proportion of young Māori in the population is expected to grow considerably over the next 20 years. This is due partly to an increase in the number of young Māori and also partly due to a decrease in the number of non-Māori children.

As can be seen in the graph below, the growth in the Māori population varies according to the age group. The proportion of pre-school aged children (0 to 4 year olds) who are Māori is expected to increase from 27 percent in 2001 to 30 percent in 2021. The proportion of primary school aged children (5 to 12 year olds) who are Māori is expected to increase from 24 percent in 2001 to 28 percent in 2021. The proportion of secondary school aged children (13 to 17 year olds) who are Māori is expected to increase from 21 percent in 2001 to 24 percent in 2021.

Figure 1: Projected Māori population by age groups

pubID-2107-fig1

Notes:

  1. Source: Māori projections are based on Statistics New Zealand's medium scenario series 6.
  2. Base is the estimated resident population of Māori ethnicity at 30 June 2001.

Early Childhood Education - Enrolments and Participation

In 2003, just under 34,000 Māori children were enrolled in early childhood education (ECE) services, accounting for nearly 20 percent of all children in ECE. Overall the total number of Māori children enrolled in ECE has been increasing steadily over the last decade.

Table 1: Number of Enrolments in Licensed ECE Services by Proportion of Teacher Time using Māori as the Language of Communication (July 1999 to 2003)
Notes:
  1. *(excluding TKR Services).
  2. This information was not collected prior to 1999. Enrolments in te kōhanga reo (TKR) services have decreased because the number of TKR services have declined. This is a result of a consolidation process undertaken by the TKR Trust since 1995.
Year Te Reo Māori at ECE Services* Te Reo Māori at Te Kōhanga Reo Services Total
12%-80% of Teachers' time 81%-100% of teachers' time 81%-100% of teachers' time
1999 17,865 231 11,859 29,955
2000 15,465 3383 11,138 26,986
2001 13,792 332 9,594 23,718
2002 16,387 247 10,389 27,023
2003 20,623 400 10,319 31,342

The most popular services for Māori children in 2003 were Te Kōhanga Reo (31 percent of all Māori enrolments), Education and Care services (32 percent) and Kindergartens (22 percent).

Table 2: Participation in ECE of new entrant school students (2000 to 2003)
Notes:
  1. Excludes foreign fee-paying and NZAID students.
  2. Excludes children where ECE attendance is unknown.
Ethnicity 2000 (%) 2001 (%) 2002 (%) 2003 (%)
Non-Māori 92.8 93.2 94.0 95.1
Māori 84.8 85.3 86.5 88.4
All 91.0 91.4 92.3 93.6


Many children in ECE experience some Te Reo Māori education. Approximately 7% of all children at licensed early childhood services attended Māori immersion services. Māori immersion is when 81-100% of teacher time is spent communicating in Māori. The table 1 below shows enrolments in licensed services where Māori is used.

Another measure of participation looks at the proportion of Year 1 primary students who attended ECE before coming to school. The proportion of Māori Year 1 students who attended early childhood services has grown steadily since 2000 (see table below). However, Māori participation rates are below the participation rates of non-Māori. 

Schools Enrolments

The number of Māori at New Zealand schools, depicted in graph 1 below, has increased by 16 percent between 1995 and 2004. In 2004 there were around 160,700 school students who were Māori. The domestic school population has also grown in this time, which means that the proportion of Māori in the domestic school population has only grown by one percentage point – from 20 percent in 1995 to 21 percent in 2004.

Figure 2: Māori Students at New Zealand Schools, 1 July 1995-2004

pubID-2107-fig2


The proportion of Māori is higher in primary schools (23 percent in 2004) than in secondary schools (18 percent in 2004), reflecting both the younger age distribution of the Māori population and the lower levels of participation of Māori at the senior level in secondary schools.

Table 3: Number of Māori Students enrolled in New Zealand Schools by School Type (1 July 1995 to 2004)
Notes:
  1. Correspondence* = Correspondence School.
  2. Composite schools cater for both primary and secondary level students. Special schools are schools for children with special needs.
School Type 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Primary 93,147 93,911 95,990 97,291 97,165 98,715 99,643 100,799 102,797 101,877
Special 495 497 479 456 467 485 517 564 626 643
Secondary 38,357 37,091 37,101 38,270 38,469 39,069 40,012 41,105 43,442 46,474
Composite 4,047 4,294 4,987 5,559 6,583 6,842 7,450 7,990 8,401 9,548
Correspondence* 2,049 2,223 2,316 2,827 2,054 1,802 1,968 2,098 2,004 2,190
Total 138,095 138,016 140,873 144,403 144,738 146,913 149,590 152,556 157,270 160,732

Participation in Schooling

Over the last eighteen years the proportion of Māori students staying at school has increased. In 1986 an estimated 47 percent of Māori students aged 16, 20 percent of Māori students aged 17 and 4 percent of Māori students aged 18 remained at school. By 2003 this had increased to 63 percent of 16 year olds, 37 percent of 17 year olds and 9 percent of 18 year olds. However, the increase in Māori students staying at school has not been constant over this period of time. Large increases occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and then the proportion of Māori students staying at school declined. This decline has stopped in recent years, with the proportion staying at school being quite stable over the last two to three years.

Female Māori students are slightly more likely to stay at school at ages 16 and 17 than are male Māori students. The percentages of Māori students remaining at school are considerably lower than that for non-Māori (87 percent of 16 year olds, 63 percent of 17 year olds and 15 percent of 18 year olds). Shorter stays at school contribute to the higher likelihood of students leaving school with limited qualifications.

Figure 3: Percentage of students staying at school in 2003

pubID-2107-fig3

Increased Participation in Māori-Medium Education

Students involved in Māori-medium education are taught curriculum subjects in both Māori and English. Māori-medium education is divided into four levels according to the amount of class time spent teaching in Māori.

Level 1 is the highest level of Māori-medium education, where 81-100% of class time is conducted in Māori. Level 1 is also sometimes referred to as Māori immersion. In 1992 there were 4,618 students involved in Māori immersion. In 2003, just over 12,200 students were involved in Māori immersion, which is a 164% increase in enrolments from 1992 to 2003. The proportion of students at level 1 Māori-medium education who attend Kura Kaupapa Māori has also increased dramatically over this period, from 10 percent in 1992 to just under half of all Māori immersion students in 2003. This reflects the increase in the number of Kura Kaupapa Māori schools – from 13 in 1992 to 61 in 2003.

The number of enrolments in lower levels of Māori-medium education have also risen since 1992, though at a much lower rate and with more fluctuation between years. In 1992 there were just under 9,800 students involved in levels 2 and 3 Māori-medium education. By 2003 enrolments had risen to 10,682 students, representing a 9 percent increase since 1992. Figure 4 depicts enrolments in Māori-medium education where more than 31% of class time is conducted in Māori (levels 1-3).

Figure 4: Number of students involved in Māori-medium education where more than 31% of curriculum time is in Māori (Levels 1-3), 1992 – 2003
pubID-2107-fig4

Stand-downs and Suspensions

Stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions are some ways to deal with student behaviour that disrupts teaching and learning. Stand-downs are the formal removal from school for a specified period, after which students return automatically to school. Suspensions are the formal removal of a student from school until the board of trustees decides the outcome of the suspension. The board may decide to lift the suspension, extend the suspension, or exclude or expel the student. Following a suspension, and an appropriate response by the board of trustees, the majority of cases (84 percent) resulted in students resuming schooling in 2003.

Table 4: Stand-downs and suspensions and per 1000 students 1 January to 31 December

Note:

  1. *Prior to taking part in the SRI.
Year   Stand-downs Suspensions Suspensions at SRI Schools
Māori
Rate Per 1000
Non-Māori
Rate Per 1000
Māori
Rate Per 1000
Non-Māori
Rate Per 1000
Māori
Rate Per 1000
2000 46 19 17 5 76*
2001 48 19 15 5 56
2002 50 19 16 5 48
2003 53 21 15 5 43


Statistics collected from July 1999 indicate that Māori are consistently stood-down or suspended from school at higher rates than non-Māori. Since 2000 the number of stand-downs per thousand Māori students has increased, while the number of suspensions per thousand Māori students has decreased. The rate of suspensions has also reduced for Māori within the 86 secondary schools (27 percent of all state secondary schools) participating in the Suspension Reduction Initiative which was introduced in 2001.

Truancy

The Attendance and Absence in New Zealand School's Survey 2002 was the first survey to collect information on absences of individual students. Results from past surveys (1996, 1998) indicated that schools with larger numbers of Māori or Pasifika students had higher rates of absence than schools with smaller numbers of these students. In contrast to past surveys, where conclusions about absences for Māori and Pasifika students were based on school profiles using the proportion of Māori and Pasifika students for each school, this survey collected specific absences for the main ethnic groups.

The 2002 survey found that Māori students have double the truancy rate of New Zealand European and Asian students. Māori were also more likely to be frequent truants, that is, students who are unjustifiably absent for three or more days during the week of the survey.

Māori achievement of NCEA qualifications is improving

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) was introduced in 2002 and is replacing School Certificate, Sixth Form Certificate and University Bursary as school qualifications. NCEA qualifications can be gained through either achievement or unit standards, or a mixture of both. Achievement standards are curriculum-based, whereas unit standards have been developed in conjunction with Industry Training Organisations or relevant tertiary providers. Students can gain credits at more than one level throughout the year. If a student does not gain a qualification, the credits gained in that year can be put towards a qualification the following year.

A higher percentage of Māori candidates achieved an NCEA qualification in 2003 than in 2002. Of Year 11 Māori, 41 percent achieved an NCEA qualification in 2003, 5 percent more than in 2002. However, Māori achievement is still below non-Māori achievement.

Table 5: Year 11 & 12 candidates^ who achieved an NCEA qualification by highest level of qualification achieved
Notes:
  1. Not all candidates reported their ethnicity. Those with no recorded ethnicity are excluded from analysis.
  2. ^ A candidate is a student who has gained one or more credits on the NQF.
Year Ethnic Group Total Number of Candidates Proportion of Candidates Achieving Level 1 Proportion of Candidates Achieving Level 2
Year 11 Māori
6,733
40
1
Non-Māori
40,765
64
1
Year 12 Māori
4,432
21
40
Non-Māori
32,798
10
61


Students can gain credits at more than one level throughout the year. If a student does not gain a qualification, the credits gained in that year can be put towards a qualification the following year.

A higher percentage of Māori candidates achieved an NCEA qualification in 2003 than in 2002. Of Year 11 Māori, 41 percent achieved an NCEA qualification in 2003, 5 percent more than in 2002. However, Māori achievement is still below non-Māori achievement.

A high percentage of Māori Year 12 candidates gained an NCEA level 1 qualification in 2003. This indicates that Māori candidates who did not achieve NCEA level 1 in Year 11 are returning to school to complete the qualification in Year 12.

Subject participation at secondary school

In 2003, a similar percentage of Māori and non-Māori gained credits in most learning areas. A higher percentage of Māori candidates than non-Māori candidates gained credits in Health & Physical Education. A lower percentage of Māori than non-Māori gained credits in Science.

Table 6: Percentage of Year 11 & Year 12 candidates^ by learning areas (2003)
Notes:
  1. No* = Number of Candidates.
  2. Languages* = English.
  3. Health* = Health and Physical Education.
  4. Tech* = Technology.
  5. Not all candidates reported their ethnicity. Those with no recorded ethnicity are excluded from analysis.
  6. ^ A candidate is a student who has gained one or more credits on the NQF.
Year Ethnic Group No* Candidates completing credits in learning areas as a proportion of all candidates
Languages* Maths Science Social Sciences The Arts Health* Tech*
Year 11 Māori
6,733
90%
94%
72%
55%
36%
65%
49%
Non-Māori
40,765
94%
96%
86%
64%
33%
57%
54%
Year 12 Māori
4,432
84%
73%
39%
63%
31%
62%
52%
Non-Māori
32,798
87%
76%
55%
62%
28%
44%
49%

School Leavers

A disproportionate number of Māori school leavers leave school without formal qualifications. School leavers without qualifications have accounted for over a third of all Māori school leavers for most years between 1990 and 2002. However, the proportion of Māori leavers with no qualifications dropped to 30 percent for the first time in 2003.

Since the introduction of NCEA in 2002, the proportion of Māori school leavers with NCEA level 2 or higher qualifications has increased from 39 percent in 2002 to 45 percent of all Māori school leavers in 2003. Between 1990 and 2001 the proportion of Māori school leavers with Sixth Form Certificate or higher has been in the range between 36 percent (in 1990) and 43 percent (in 1999). However, not only have school qualifications changed in the past few years, but also the measures used for measuring school leaver attainment are changing. This makes drawing strong conclusions from the school leaver time series difficult at this time.

Table 7: School leavers by highest attainment and ethnicity (1990 to 2003)

Notes:

  1. Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding.
  2. Figures relate to students gaining one or more subjects, irrespective of the grade awarded.
  3. 2Includes National Certificate Level 3 from 1996
  4. 3Includes at least 40 National Certificate credits at Level 3 from 1996
  5. 4Includes at least 12 National Certificate credits at Level 3 from 1996
  6. 5Includes at least 12 National Certificate credits at Level 2 from 1996
  7. 6Includes at least 12 National Certificate credits at Level 1 from 1996
  8. 7Includes less than 12 National Certificate credits Level 1 from 1996
  9. 8Includes other National Certificate at Level 1, and 1 to 13 credits at Level 2 or above.
  10. 9Includes School Certificate in one or more subjects, and ACE or overseas awards at Year 11 level.
  11. *Qual = Qualification.
  12. *Cert = Certificate.
Year Ethnic Group Level of Attainment Total  
Uni Bursary2 Entrance
*Qual3
Higher School *Cert4 6th Form *Cert1&5 School *Cert1&6 No *Qual6
1990 Māori
4

8
23
26
38
8,781
Non-Māori
21

16
31
19
12
46,656
1991 Māori
5

9
23
26
37
8,633
Non-Māori
26

18
28
16
12
43,599
1992 Māori
6

10
23
24
37
10,029
Non-Māori
25

18
29
16
12
47,839
1993 Māori
5
2
9
26
25
34
9,770
Non-Māori
23
6
13
29
17
12
46,470
1994 Māori
4
4
8
24
25
34
10,308
Non-Māori
23
8
12
28
17
12
45,753
1995 Māori
4
3
7
25
25
35
10,073
Non-Māori
23
8
11
27
17
14
43,746
1996 Māori
4
4
8
22
24
39
9,570
Non-Māori
24
9
12
24
17
15
41,917
1997 Māori
5
4
10
22
22
38
9,137
Non-Māori
25
9
14
24
15
13
41,056
1998 Māori
4
5
10
22
21
38
9,650
Non-Māori
24
10
14
24
14
13
42,216
1999 Māori
5
4
10
25
22
35
9,793
Non-Māori
23
9
12
27
16
13
44,607
2000 Māori
4
3
9
25
26
32
9,453
Non-Māori
23
8
11
28
17
13
45,180
2001 Māori
4
3
8
25
26
33
9,688
Non-Māori
22
9
12
26
18
13
43,829
Year Ethnic Group Level of Attainment Total
Uni Bursary2 Entrance Qual3 Higher School Cert4 NCEA 2 6th Form Cert1&5 NCEA 18 14+ Credits at Lvl 1 No Qual7
2002 Māori 4 4 9 22 5 21 35 9,9445
Non-Māori 22 9 12 25 3 13 15 43,101
2003 Māori  5 4 11 26 10 15 30 9,688
Non-Māori 23 10 14 25 8 8 12 43,783

Māori representation on boards of trustees increases

All of New Zealand's state and state integrated schools have a board of trustees. Each of these boards assumes the governance roles and responsibilities of its school(s). Boards are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the school and for ensuring a safe environment and quality education outcomes for the school's students. Boards are also responsible through the formation of policies for the oversight of property, financial, and personnel management and administration. Boards of trustees are made up of elected parent representatives, staff, principal and student representatives and they can appoint and/or co opt members.

From 1997 to 2003 there has been a decrease in the number of trustees overall, which can largely be attributed to the decrease in the number of schools in the same period. Despite this, the number of Māori trustees in 2003 totalled 3,034 having increased by 8 percent (or 232 trustees) since 1997. Consequently, the percentage of board members who are Māori has increased steadily from 13 percent in 1997 to 15 percent in 2003.

Table 8: Percentage of Boards of Trustees who are Māori by type of membership, as at December (1997 to 2003)
Notes:
  1. Excludes student representatives.
Member Type 1997
(%)
1998
(%)
1999
(%)
2000
(%)
2001
(%)
2002
(%)
2003
(%)
Elected Parent Representative
12.4
14.0
13.6
13.5
16.1
15.3
15.1
Appointed Parent Representative
14.2
14.0
15.6
15.1
16.9
22.2
19.4
Co-opted Member
23.6
23.2
25.0
24.2
27.0
29.5
28.4
Other Members
8.2
8.4
8.6
8.8
9.1
9.2
9.4
Total
12.9
13.2
13.3
13.5
14.8
15.0
15.1

The number of Māori teachers has grown

In April 2004 close to 4,500 teachers in state schools identified themselves as Māori. Compared to 1998 figures there are now around 1,200 more Māori teachers in state schools, representing an increase of 36 percent.

Table 9: Māori Teachers as a percentage of all teachers, by school type, as at April (1998 to 2004)
Notes:
  1. State and state-integrated teachers only.
  2. Percentages exclude teachers whose ethnicity is unknown or not stated.
School Type 1998
(%)
1999
(%)
2000
(%)
2001
(%)
2002
(%)
2003
(%)
2004
(%)
Primary 12.4 14.0 13.6 13.5 16.1 15.3 15.1
Secondary 14.2 14.0 15.6 15.1 16.9 22.2 19.4
Composite 23.6 23.2 25.0 24.2 27.0 29.5 28.4
Special 8.2 8.4 8.6 8.8 9.1 9.2 9.4
Correspondence 8.2 8.4 8.6 8.8 9.1 9.2 9.4
Total 12.9 13.2 13.3 13.5 14.8 15.0 15.1


The growth in the number of Māori teachers is reflected in the increased proportion of Māori teachers in the workforce. In 1998, 8 percent of all state teachers identified themselves as Māori, and by 2004 this had increased to 10 percent. Composite schools have seen the largest increase in the proportion of Māori teachers in this time, more than doubling in numbers from around 270 in 1998 to 550 in 2004. This increase is largely due to the increase in the number of Kura Kaupapa Māori schools, which are mostly composite schools.

Māori teacher education graduates are increasing

The number of Māori graduating with teaching qualifications has increased by around 250 primary graduates and 80 secondary graduates from 1995 to 2002. Even though the number of Māori graduating with a primary teaching qualification has increased since 1995, other ethnic groups have increased at a greater rate. Thus Māori primary teaching graduates in 2002 represented a slightly lower proportion of graduates compared to 1995 levels. Māori secondary teacher education graduates on the other hand have increased in proportion from 6 percent of secondary graduates in 1995 to 11 percent in 2002.

Figure 5: Percentage of Teacher Education Graduates who were Māori, 1995 to 2002

pubID-2107-fig5

Footnotes

  1. The domestic school population excludes NZAID and foreign fee-paying students.
  2. Māori enrolment data prior to 1995 was not collected on the same basis as the data from 1995 onwards, so they are not comparable. Enrolment data prior to 1995 is excluded for this reason.
  3. In level 2 Māori-medium education 51-80% of class time is conducted in Māori. At level 3 Māori-medium education 31-50% of class time is conducted in Māori.
  4. Exclusion means the formal removal of a student aged under 16 from the school, and the requirement that the student enrol elsewhere.
  5. Expulsion means the formal removal of a student aged 16 or over from school. He or she may enrol in another school.
  6. The survey was conducted in September 2002 and carried out by schools over a one-week period. Responses from 2,195 schools were received, representing 86 percent of schools. 
  7. Truancy refers to those students who have unjustified absences or intermittent unjustified absences. The truancy rate is based on the total school rolls for the participating schools and relate to an average (mean) daily absence for the week per 100 students. Unjustified absences are absences that are not explained to the satisfaction of the school.
  8. A candidate is defined as a student who gains one or more credits on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The number of Year 11 and Year 12 candidates is therefore smaller than the number of students at Year 11 and Year 12, as some students do not attain credits on the NQF.
  9. Year 11 equates to 5th Form as a level of schooling. Similarly, Year 12 equates to 6th Form and Year 13 equates to 7th Form.
  10. The Ministry of Education collects total subject enrolments at a school level every July. However, this is not collected on an ethnicity basis. Therefore information on subject participation by ethnicity is only available for students taking part in the National Qualifications Framework.
  11. The measure for NCEA Level 1 qualifications relates to attainment, whereas the measure for School Certificate and Sixth Form Certificate relates to participation. For example, a school leaver with a highest attainment of NCEA level 1 has attained the qualification. A school leaver with a highest attainment of School Certificate has sat three or more School Certificate examinations.
  12. Graduate data from Private Training Establishments was reported for the first time in 2000 and therefore is not included in previous years.

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