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All schools should be great places to learn. We’re resetting the system that governs, manages, administers and supports schools so that all learners get the same chance to succeed.

Thirty years ago, the Tomorrow’s Schools reforms changed New Zealand’s schooling system, creating a system intended to better engage parents, whānau and communities with their local schools.

While the current system has strengths, it is inadequately serving some of our learners, in particular Māori, Pacific, people with disabilities and/or learning needs and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Now, New Zealand has the opportunity to reset the education system with a greater level of resource and expertise at the front line where it is needed.

This reset is significant. Changes will require ongoing investment of time and resource, and will need to be managed in a coherent and connected way over the next ten years.

Core components of the reform

The core components of the reform that will be introduced over ten years include:

Stronger arrangements to underpin principal leadership of the schooling system

  • Inviting the Teaching Council to establish a Leadership Centre, along with additional functions in the Ministry of Education.
  • Establishing Leadership Advisor roles in the new Education Service Agency (ESA) to provide greater localised support for principals and others in leadership roles;
  • Establishing consistent minimum eligibility requirements for appointments to school principal roles.
  • Ensuring the right principals are where they are most needed, by being much more deliberate about the scope, scale, and complexity of our principal roles.

 Go to the Information for Principals and Leaders factsheet for more information

A better balance between local and national responsibilities

  • Reducing the burden on schools by simplifying or removing property responsibilities from boards and centralising key services, such as planned and preventative maintenance.
  • A stronger focus on network planning to support access to high quality schooling, through a national strategy for future-focussed state schooling provision with a particular focus on the Māori medium pathway.

A better balance between local and national responsibilities

  • Reducing the burden on schools by simplifying or removing property responsibilities from boards and centralising key services, such as planned and preventative maintenance.
  • A stronger focus on network planning to support access to high quality schooling, through a national strategy for future-focussed state schooling provision with a particular focus on the Māori medium pathway

A nationally based Curriculum Centre

The success of the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa relies on our teachers and leaders having the skills and confidence to interpret them, ensure they are relevant in a local context, and bring them to life in the classroom.

We want to ensure that our teachers and leaders have access to high quality advice, and resources that enable them to do this effectively.

The Government will establish a nationally based Curriculum Centre to provide curriculum leadership and expertise. As part of its redesign, the Ministry of Education will look at what it would take to create a much clearer and larger critical mass of expertise that leads, develops and supports curriculum development and delivery.

Supporting new teachers

The Taskforce put forward a number of proposed actions to improve the foundational experience for new teachers. Our system must ensure that our new teachers are suitably trained and well-prepared, and provide them with the support and guidance they need as they progress through the early stages of their career. We have already made progress in this area. In Budget 2019, the Government allocated funding to:

  • a number of proposed actions to improve the foundational experience for new teachers;
  • support 800 more beginning teachers into their first roles through the National Beginning Teacher Grant and the Voluntary Bonding Scheme expansion;
  • partner with iwi to design and pilot regional scholarships, which support Māori students to train and remain in teaching; and
  • support Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers to meet new Teaching Council requirements, which came into effect on 1 July 2019 and included increasing the length of student placements in schools. 

The Ministry of Education will consider the Taskforce’s proposals for strengthening initial teacher education, along with alternative approaches, as part of a future programme of work.

Education Workforce Strategy

The Government agrees with the Taskforce that a comprehensive and effective Education Workforce Strategy is necessary. Informed by the Taskforce’s comments, the Government will develop a draft Education Workforce Strategy for consultation shortly.

What’s next?

The Government acknowledges that this is a significant change to further strengthen the education system.  Changes related to governance and management of schools need to work in a complex system that includes early learning and tertiary education.

The changes require ongoing investment of both time and resource, and will need to be managed in a coherent and connected way over the next ten years.

A detailed timeline can be found in Appendix 1 of the Government’s position document, ‘Supporting all schools to succeed: Reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system’.

Full report: Supporting all schools to succeed: Reform of Tomorrow’s Schools system [PDF 2MB]

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