New Zealand Schools: Ngā Kura o Aotearoa (2011)

Publication Details

This report of the Minister of Education on the compulsory schools sector in New Zealand (also known as the Schools Sector Report) pertains to 2011.

Author(s): Ministry of Education

Date Published: September 2012

Please consider the environment before printing the contents of this report.

This report is available as a download (please refer to the 'Downloads' inset box).  For links to related publications/ information that may be of interest please refer to the 'Where to Find Out More' inset box.


This Government has a vision for a country where all our young people have access to effective education and the ability to achieve at a high standard, academically and otherwise. We are ambitious for our learners, and have set a key five year target that 85% of 18-year-olds will have achieved NCEA Level 2 (or an equivalent qualification) in 2017, through school or tertiary institutions. The figure in 2011 for this target was approximately 74%. Keeping high expectations for our learners and providing all learners with quality education and an enriched learning environment throughout their schooling years will ensure our nation’s youth will be better prepared for further education and employment.

The 2011 year was one of changes and challenges in the New Zealand schooling system. The Government announced the implementation of the Ultra-Fast Broadband Programme to ensure that learners from all areas have access to valuable online learning resources. Schools and kura that use The New Zealand Curriculum worked towards the National Standards targets they had established in their 2011 school charters. Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Mäori (standards for schools and kura that use Te Marautanga o Aotearoa) were introduced in 2011. Christchurch schools were having to recover from major earthquakes. The performance of Christchurch schools following the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 has demonstrated the organisation, resourcefulness and resilience of our schools and their staff.

Parents understand the importance of basic numeracy and literacy skills in our knowledge-based society and, along with teachers, are often heavily engaged in their child’s learning. The National Standards are designed to support The New Zealand Curriculum and are aimed at establishing high expectations for learners at the national level. The 2011 year was the second year in which schools reported to parents on their child’s progress and achievement against the National Standards, and the first that schools set achievement targets based on the standards data collected from the previous year. The 2011 data are the first to be released publicly. National summary data are reported in this publication, and school level data will be online in 2012.

Our Youth Guarantee programme continues to provide opportunities for 16 and 17-year-olds who are disengaging in traditional school settings. This programme combines a number of different initiatives to ensure learners can gain access to alternative forms of education and worthwhile qualifications that make the move into employment or continuing education more likely.

This report shows that, although schools are performing well for many of our learners, and progress is being made towards a number of goals set in previous years, there is still room for improvement. The spread of achievement of our learners is wide. Too many pupils do not achieve to their full potential because the system is not yet learner centred enough, not yet using our national curriculum to its richest potential and not yet fully embracing the use of good quality data.

The Government’s emphasis will continue to be on lifting educational standards so that the learners of today can be the talented adults of tomorrow, contributing to New Zealand’s society and economy in a meaningful way.

I am pleased to present to Parliament New Zealand Schools Ngā Kura o Aotearoa - 2011.

Hon. Hekia Parata          
Minister of Education

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