New Zealand Schools: Ngā Kura o Aotearoa (2009)

Publication Details

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

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 is ambitious for all of the country’s children. We are determined to raise the bar for achievement for every single student in the country.

We know that many of our students are among the best in the world, but we also know that we have a large group that fall well behind.

Research and plain common sense tell us that successful engagement with the breadth of The New Zealand Curriculum depends on a child’s ability to do the basics in reading, writing and mathematics. National Standards are a tool to ensure every child gains these foundation skills. They have been designed to support The New Zealand Curriculum.

It is important that principals, teachers and boards are well equipped to work with the standards. That’s why the Government is redirecting funding to professional development to support the implementation.

The standards build on a number of things that we already know work well in education and will support effective assessment and teaching. The standards provide clear expectations of what students should be able to achieve in literacy and numeracy at a certain year level or after a certain time spent at school.

Another vital area for this Government is the transition between school and the world beyond. We acknowledge that traditional study settings may not be relevant to all students and our Youth Guarantee Policy will deliver a range of alternative educational pathways for 16- and 17-year-olds, including tertiary options. We have to make our system more relevant to the 16- and 17-year-olds who currently disengage from school.

I want it to be much easier for our young people to move between secondary and tertiary learning. I want all 16- and 17-year olds to have access to a programme of study that doesn’t have fees, that meets their needs and that leads to a worthwhile, nationally recognised qualification.

This report shows that, overall, the New Zealand schooling system is performing reasonably well. However, the most recent results from the National Education Monitoring Programme suggest that trends in the mathematics performance of our primary school students are static or even declining.

We will make the changes required to improve performance. Budget 2010 demonstrates the Government’s commitment to strengthening the ladder of opportunity for young New Zealanders by allocating an extra $1.4 billion to education over the next four years as we continue to focus on frontline services to help lift student achievement.

This Government is determined to carefully prioritise education funding so that dollars are spent where they will make the biggest difference for students, families and whānau. In the years ahead our focus will continue to be on lifting educational standards to empower young New Zealanders and strengthen New Zealand’s economy.

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

Hon Anne Tolley

Minister of Education

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