New Zealand Schools: Ngā Kura o Aotearoa (2016)

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 2016.

Author(s): Ministry of Education

Date Published: November 2017

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.


We want our education system to transform and improve the lives of all New Zealanders, ensuring that our children and young people get the best education and the greatest opportunities to be successful. 

The information in this report shows that our current education system is working well for the majority of students, who leave school competent, confident and with the necessary skills and qualifications to remain lifelong learners.  However, there are still students leaving school without the necessary credentials to participate fully in adult life.  A disproportionate number of those who are not achieving continue to be Māori and Pasifika, come from low socio-economic areas or have additional learning needs.

Our education system is growing, both in terms of population and diversity. We need to ensure that we are delivering education that guarantees young New Zealanders can read, write, do maths, are digitally fluent and are healthy and well rounded.  We are doing this by investing in more teachers and more learning.  We are taking steps to attract high-quality teachers and keep them in the profession, particularly in the science, technology and maths areas.

Investment in education needs to be early and targeted, to identify and respond to the needs of the community.  In 2016 we introduced the Targeted At Risk Grant, which came into effect in 2017 to give schools additional funding for each child who has spent a significant proportion of their life in benefit-dependent households.  We also initiated a review of the early childhood education and school funding systems so that funding can be better aligned to the needs of students.  We are targeting funding to children who have complex educational or social needs to reduce any barriers to their learning and to ensure each child is supported to make at least a year's worth of progress against the curricula every year.

I believe in the power of digital technology to prepare young people for a future they will thrive in. We need to continue to maximise the opportunities offered by the digital age to improve our education system, which will allow students to be innovative and adapt quickly to change.  Almost all schools now have access to ultra fast broadband, modernised internal Information and Communications Technology (ICT) networks and a fully funded Network for Learning (N4L) Managed Network connection, all of which enable schools to operate as modern learning environments.

The majority of schools in New Zealand are now part of a Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako, allowing them to collaborate across the education pathway and organise themselves around the needs of their students.  The aim of Kāhui Ako is to achieve better outcomes for all young people, particularly those at risk of underachieving.  This will happen through personalised learning pathways, relevant curriculum and high-quality teaching.

The Education (Update) Amendment Act was introduced to Parliament in August 2016 and passed its final reading in May 2017.  This Act is the biggest update to education in this country for almost 30 years.  The changes reinforce that the achievement of our children and young people is at the heart of the education system.  The new legislation sets clear objectives for the early childhood and compulsory education system and supports educators working together to deliver the best education for all of our children and young people. 

This report shows that we are making progress but there is more to be done.  Our young people have enormous talent and potential and the future of our country is in their hands.

I am pleased to present to Parliament New Zealand Schools Ngā Kura o Aotearoa – 2016.

Hon. Nikki Kaye

Minister of Education

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