New Zealand Schools: Ngā Kura o Aotearoa (2009) Publications
This report of the Minister of Education on the compulsory schools sector in New Zealand pertains to 2009 (also known as the Schools Sector Report). Other editions are available on the New Zealand Schools publication home page.
Author(s): Ministry of Education
Date Published: September 2010
Ensuring all students in New Zealand schools attain foundation skills in literacy and numeracy is a priority for the Government. In 2009 the Ministry of Education began developing the National Standards in reading and writing for English-medium settings.1 The Māori-medium National Standards, Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori,2 include oral language as well as reading and writing, and are based on Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.3
National Educational Monitoring Project (NEMP) reports in 2008 and 2009 have reported that reading and mathematics are very popular subjects for students. However there has been no significant improvement in reading assessment for either year 4 or year 8 students between 2004 and 2008, and no real change in mathematics performance at either the year 4 or year 8 levels in the 12 years since the first NEMP assessment in this subject in 1997.
In 2009 the Education Review Office (ERO) collected evidence from 212 primary schools about teaching and learning practices in year 1 and 2 classes in reading and writing. It found that about 70 percent of teachers used effective teaching practices. However, only 21 percent of schools had very effective monitoring of student reading and writing achievement, and 63 percent of schools did not monitor well.
In 2009 ERO evaluated schools’ readiness to give effect to The New Zealand Curriculum from term 1, 2010. It found that by the end of 2009, 76 percent of schools were either already fully implementing the curriculum or were making good progress towards giving effect to the curriculum. Only three percent of schools had yet to begin making any preparation to give effect to the curriculum.
Since the introduction of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), more students have left with qualifications.
A formal qualification at Level 2 or above is a benchmark which young adults need to complete. Seventy-three percent of 2009 school leavers attained this benchmark, compared with 71 percent of 2008 school leavers. More students are leaving school with meaningful qualifications that enable them to participate in tertiary education, should they wish. Māori outcomes have slightly improved but remain a concern – 53 percent of Māori school leavers in 2009 had attained a Level 2 qualification or higher. Twenty-three percent of Māori school leavers in 2009 attained University Entrance or a Level 3 qualification. Pasifika outcomes have also improved: 66 percent of 2009 school leavers attained a Level 2 qualification or higher; 28 percent of Pasifika school leavers in 2009 attained University Entrance or a Level 3 qualification.
Continuing the trend that began in 2007, the number of early leaving exemptions dropped to less than ten students per 1,000 15-year-olds in 2009. Retention rates have been gradually increasing since 2006. However, substantial differences still exist between girls and boys, and Māori and non-Māori students.
Overall, New Zealand schools are being capably governed and most are in a financially healthy position. Although a number of schools may report a deficit in any given year, most have sufficient assets to cover their debts, and the net value of assets is increasing. Government funding has continued to increase above the rate of inflation. Increases have been observed for operational grants, salaries and property funding. Government funding is a vital revenue stream for schools as it makes up around 90 percent of their annual income.
- Ministry of Education. (2009). Reading and Writing Standards for Years 1–8. Wellington: Learning Media.
- Ministry of Education. (2010 draft). Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. Wellington: Learning Media.
- Ministry of Education. (2008). Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. Wellington: Ministry of Education.
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