Ngā Kura o Aotearoa: New Zealand Schools (2020) 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 2020.
Author(s): Ministry of Education.
Date Published: September 2021
The ongoing transformation of our education system continues, despite the challenges of a worldwide pandemic. As a new system emerges, never has it been more important to ensure it is inclusive, equitable, connected and future-focused.
COVID-19 tested many aspects of our lives, and the education system was no exception. Thanks to the dedicated and outstanding work of principals, teachers, support staff, whānau and public servants our education system proved to be responsive and flexible. New and innovative approaches ensured learners/ākonga could continue to learn and stay connected to their school communities despite the changes and uncertainty placed on us.
When schools and kura were closed for on-site teaching and learning, and teachers and learners/ākonga moved to distance learning from home, a range of supports were put in place. These included:
- Moving the school term break to allow time to establish ways of teaching online and remotely.
- Providing internet connections to 45,000 households so 120,000 learners/ākonga could progress with learning through lockdown.
- Sending over 280,000 learning hard packs to learners/ākonga to supplement their learning through lockdown.
- Launching Home Learning TV | Papa Kāinga TV on TVNZ and Mauri Reo Mauri Ora on Māori Television.
- Implementing a professional learning and development support package to support teachers with online learning.
- Development of an online portal for subject-specific secondary school content and two online learning programmes to support distance learning.
- Implementing temporary changes to NCEA to support learners/ākonga to engage in and progress with their assessed learning, whilst recognising the significant disruption they experienced due to COVID-19 and maintaining the integrity and credibility of the qualification.
Progress continues towards an equitable education system where all learners have the opportunity to succeed.
We know that for some, the impacts of COVID-19 on learning, attendance and participation have been greater than for others. That’s why the government provided $50 million under the COVID-19 Urgent Response Fund to support re-engagement and wellbeing.
In terms of our wider reforms, good progress is being made in many different areas that will make a real difference to learners for decades to come.
While work to respond to COVID-19 delayed the delivery of some aspects, it also revealed new opportunities to achieve the types of change needed to transform the education system. This includes new ways of working and partnering to deliver services and support, and a greater sense of cooperation, collaboration and trust.
Through the 2021 Education Work Programme, we are building on the achievements of the last three years with a strong focus on implementation and delivery.
Supporting schools to realise every learners’ potential while honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi is central to our purpose. So is supporting our economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19.
Refreshing the curriculum so that it’s bicultural, inclusive, clear, and easier to use is key.
Once this work is complete, the refreshed curriculum will recognise a broader definition of success and equip all learners with the essential knowledge, skills and values to live confidently in te ao Māori and the wider world.
Other highlights of the education work programme include:
- Progressing work on the New Zealand Histories Curriculum and the NCEA Change Programme;
- The continued reform of Vocational Education (ROVE);
- Lifting student performance in maths (including numeracy) and literacy;
- An action plan to support schools and early learning services to raise attendance and engagement;
- Working towards pay parity for the early learning sector;
- Developing a strong, culturally competent workforce, including through changes to improve Initial Teacher Education;
- Modernising careers advice in schools;
- Strengthening the youth transitions system;
- Develop a strategy, with the sector, for international education and its recovery from the impacts of COVID-19;
- Replacing school deciles with the equity index; and
- Reviewing the tertiary education funding system, including for degrees, to introduce a stronger focus on work-integrated learning across a broader range of disciplines.
Much of the power for educational change sits with places of learning, developing educationally powerful connections and partnerships with learners/ākonga, whānau, Māori and Pacific and diverse ethnic communities.
Looking ahead, establishing Te Mahau within Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education will ensure schools are better-placed to succeed, with targeted support, much earlier.
Stronger leadership support, more collaboration between schools and a reset of the relationship between schools and the Ministry will make a lasting difference.
I am pleased to present to Parliament Ngā Kura o Aotearoa – New Zealand Schools Report – 2020.
Hon Minister Chris Hipkins
Minister of Education
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