Ngā Kura o Aotearoa: New Zealand Schools (2019) Publications
This report of the Minister of Education on the compulsory schools sector in New Zealand (also known as the Schools Sector Report) pertains to 2019.
Author(s): Ministry of Education.
Date Published: December 2020
This Government has committed to building the world’s best education system – one that reflects the aspirations expressed by New Zealanders and enables us all to learn and excel, to help our whānau and communities thrive, and to contribute to a productive, sustainable economy and an open, caring society.
The introduction of the Education and Training Act means that we are, for the first time, taking an integrated approach to setting the direction for the education system, from early childhood providers, through the compulsory schooling sector, to tertiary education and training.
In Shaping a Stronger Education System with New Zealanders we have outlined a 30 year strategic approach to education. This vision is shaping the objectives and priorities of the Education Work Programme, which was built on the feedback received from almost 50,000 New Zealanders during the Education Conversation | Kōrero Mātauranga and Education Summits.
We have set five objectives to shape the future of New Zealand education and the Education Work Programme: learners at the centre, barrier-free access, quality teaching and leadership, future of learning and work, and world class, inclusive public education.
We have now embarked on a comprehensive programme of change across the education system. This aims to make it more inclusive, equitable, connected and future-focused to support better lives for all New Zealanders.
The response to COVID-19 has seen some of these plans fast-tracked. Other plans have been put on hold while we work to ensure that students continue to receive the support they need to learn and succeed. Under the Education Work Programme, we have already:
- removed financial barriers to ensure that education is accessible to all, including the removal of NCEA fees and taking care of school donations for ākonga/learners in decile one to seven schools
- introduced the free and healthy school lunches programme to reduce food insecurity and improve the wellbeing of learners and remove barriers to participation and attendance at school
- refreshed the Ka Hikitia and Tau Mai Te Reo strategies based on input from Māori whānau and communities about what matters most in the education of Māori learners
- released an action plan for Pacific education, outlining a set of actions to transform education outcomes for Pacific learners and families
- introduced new learning support coordinators in schools and kura as part of the Learning Support Action Plan to ensure that all learners are supported and their learning needs are met
- released a package of seven changes to strengthen NCEA and help maintain the trust and confidence in New Zealand qualifications
- released the vision for the Education Workforce Strategy, outlining how Aotearoa New Zealand will achieve a strong, culturally competent education workforce by 2032 to drive a world leading, learner-focused education system
- restored pay parity for primary teachers with secondary teachers and developed an accord with NZEI and PPTA to identify and address workload and wider education issues from now on
- released a one-off school investment package to provide funding to state schools to assist with property projects that would otherwise be deferred due to lack of available funds
- released the National Education Growth Plan and infrastructure package, a 10-year plan for property to keep up with projected growth of the student population
- outlined a series of significant functional and structural changes to the education system, as part of the reform of Tomorrow’s Schools. The COVID-19 response work has accelerated the functional changes needed to enhance frontline services and support for learners/ākonga, whānau and education providers, but it is not the right time to prioritise resources for the structural change aspects of the reforms.
- completed consultation on the statement of National Education and Learning Priorities and the Tertiary Education Strategy, which allowed New Zealanders to contribute to shaping the direction and priorities of the education system
- began the reform of vocational education and training to create a strong, unified, sustainable system that will respond to skills shortages and prepare for the future of work.
The flexibility of our education system was proven in our response to the COVID pandemic, when major changes in the delivery of teaching and learning were required quickly. As schools closed, teachers and learners/ākonga moved to replace in-class learning with online learning from home.
In addition to the online learning provided directly by schools and kura to their students, the Ministry of Education worked with them and other partners to make sure every learner had access to at least one of a range of resources. These included:
- Internet connections and computers for some of the households where these were not available
- educational programming and lessons on TVNZ (for ages 2 to 15) and on Māori Television’s Te Reo channel (for ages 0 to 18)
- the Talanoa Ako digital app for Pacific families and the Talanoa Ako radio programme to support Pacific parents with distance learning
- two online spaces, Learning from Home and Ki te Ao Mārama, developed to provide resources for parents and whānau, teachers and leaders from early learning through to senior secondary
- hard packs of learning materials sent to learners’ homes.
Schools and kura were also supported with professional learning and development to help them transition to distance learning and then back to in-classroom teaching. The Ministry of Education is continuing work to decrease the impact of any future disruption on learners/ ākonga.
As we move forward, we can again focus on the aspirations New Zealanders have for the education system. At the Education Summits I said that educational change had failed too often in the past because it had been imposed from the top rather than worked through in collaboration with others.
While there are still conversations to be had, the future shape of our education system is beginning to emerge, thanks to the input of principals and teachers, parents, children and young people and our Māori and Pacific communities. We are now starting to see the results of our collective effort at transformation.
I am pleased to present to Parliament Ngā Kura o Aotearoa New Zealand Schools Report – 2019.
Hon Minister Chris Hipkins
Minister of Education
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