Home About Out and About Events

Kōrero Mātauranga, Me kōrero tātou

Ministry of Education

Adapted in accordance with Section 69 of the Copyright Act 1994 by the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, for the sole use of persons who have a print disability.

Produced 2019 by Accessible Formats Service, Blind Foundation, Auckland, New Zealand

This edition is a transcription of the following print edition:

Published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand

www.education.govt.nz

Copyright 2019

By Crown

ISBN 978-1-77669-875-2 (print) 

Cover Information

Kōrero Mātauranga: Me kōrero tātou.

Have your say about the future of education.

Join the conversation at conversation.education.govt.nz

#EdConvo

#TomorrowsSchools 

Transcriber's Note

If reading this volume on a portable braille device, note that this e-text is unproofed by touch.

As instructed, the complex colour-coded chart on pages 36-37 has been omitted from this e-text edition.

Highlighted paragraphs at the beginning of sections are boxed in this e-text.

Footnotes are given at the end of the relevant print page.

All images are omitted. 

Contents

Foreword from the Minister of Education Page 3

Purpose of this document Page 4

Executive Summary Page 5

Background Page 7

The Taskforce Report Page 9

The Case for Change Page 10

Moving towards a more networked, responsive and supported system Page 12

Other components of the Government position Page 23

What's next? Page 35

Appendix 1 Page 36

Appendix 2 Page 38

Page 3 

Supporting all schools to succeed: Reform of the Tomorrow's Schools system

Foreword from the Minister of Education

Box:

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.

End box.

When the 1989 Tomorrow's Schools reforms were put in place it was a very different world. The reforms introduced one of the world's most devolved systems for compulsory schools, where each school operated as a largely self-managing Crown entity with its own Board of Trustees being responsible for a wide range of administrative and governance functions.

It was a bold response to a previous system that had strengths but had become inefficient and stifled innovation.

When we announced the Independent Review of Tomorrow's Schools, our starting point wasn't that the schooling system was broken. Instead we wanted to know whether the system put in place 30 years ago was delivering equitably for our learners and was still suitable as we approach the third decade of the 21st Century.

What we have found is that the current system works well in many places, but that it is far from perfect. It is inadequately serving some of our learners, in particular Māori, Pacific, children and young people with disabilities and learning support needs and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. School boards and principals can have too many distractions from their core roles of providing education.

Concerns about systemic disparities have been echoed in feedback received from Kōrero Mātauranga, fono, wānanga, and other fora that I have been involved in over the last 18 months. In particular, I have heard a strong call for more customised, effective and readily available support for learners/ākonga, whānau, governors, leaders, and teachers in our education system.

The changes outlined in this document are about addressing these disparities, building a more connected and collaborative system and providing more support and guidance where it is necessary and where it is needed.

In making these changes, the Government wants to strike a better balance between what should be provided and supported from the centre, what services should be provided locally and what is best delivered by local schools and their communities.

Hon Chris Hipkins

Minister of Education

Page 4 

Purpose of this document

Box:

The purpose of this document is to help New Zealanders understand the Government's approach to the reform of the governance, management and administration of the schooling system informed by the work of the Tomorrow's Schools Independent Taskforce.

End box.

The key features of this approach are:

  • More responsive, accessible and integrated local support to schools and early learning services

  • Stronger arrangements to underpin principal leadership of the schooling system

  • A better balance between local and national responsibilities for school property and network provision.

Page 5 

Executive Summary

Box:

The Government is taking the opportunity to significantly strengthen the education system for all learners/ākonga and their whānau.

End box.

The Tomorrow's Schools Independent Taskforce has concluded its review of the compulsory schooling system and delivered its final report, Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together: Whiria Ngā Kura Tūātinitini. The Report provides important insights into the governance, management, and administration of the schooling system and highlights many of the system's current strengths. However, it is also very clear that the system faces significant and persistent challenges in delivering equitably for all children and young people, especially those who are Māori, Pacific, have disabilities and/or learning support needs, or come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Our system is currently designed so that schools largely operate as autonomous, self-managing entities. In practice, this means that they frequently operate largely on their own, under increasing pressure, and often with slow and uneven transfers of professional knowledge, skills, and best practice. The result is wide variability in learner/ākonga outcomes across and within schools/kura. The nature of the relationship between schools and central government is also highly variable, and trust needs to be rebuilt throughout the system.

This document outlines the Government's approach for the reform of the governance, management, and administration of the schooling system. This involves a reset from a highly devolved, largely disconnected, and autonomous set of institutions, to a much more deliberately networked and supported system that is more responsive to the needs of learners/ākonga and their whānau.

The proposed approach has three key features:

First, we will take action to ensure we have the support functions needed for an effective system, at an appropriate scale, with carefully considered and aligned decision rights and a strong local presence. We want to build on the capability and strengths within our existing education agencies, but also want a support function that is deliberately designed to be more locally responsive, integrated, and accessible.

This will include the establishment of an Education Service Agency (ESA) within the Ministry of Education, a programme of substantial service transformations, and a redesigned Ministry of Education.

Second, we need stronger arrangements to underpin principal leadership of the schooling system. This includes inviting the Teaching Council to establish a Leadership Centre, a new role of Leadership Advisor, and the establishment of eligibility criteria for appointments to school principal roles so we can ensure all schools are served by leaders with the right skills and expertise.

Page 6

Third, we need a better balance between local and national responsibilities for school property and network provision.

A range of other features of the proposed Tomorrow's Schools reset of the governance, management, and administration of the schooling system, which can be progressed through the Education Work Programme over the next five to ten years, are also outlined, and grouped in accordance with the Government's five objectives for education.

Overall, the changes to further strengthen our education system will be significant. They will require ongoing investment of both time and resource, and will need to be managed in a coherent and connected way over the next five to ten years.

Page 7 

Background

Box:

A review of the governance, management and administration arrangements for our current compulsory schooling, known as Tomorrow's Schools, is a key component of the Government's current education work programme (EWP). The EWP covers the whole education system from early learning through to schooling, tertiary and beyond. This allows us to consider the case for change in compulsory schooling alongside work on the wider education system.

End box.

The Review provided an opportunity to ensure that our state and state-integrated schooling system is fit for purpose and supports all learners/ākonga to gain the skills and knowledge they need to be lifelong learners/ākonga and to fully participate in the labour market, society and their communities.

The Terms of Reference for the independent Taskforce undertaking the review asked it to explore the ability of school governance, management and administration to respond to the education needs of the future and to ensure flexibility to meet the needs of local communities and their children. It also asked the Taskforce to consider how schools and education agencies could better support equity and inclusion and how they could give active expression to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The Taskforce completed the Review in two stages. The first stage took place between April and November 2018 and culminated in the Taskforce's initial report, which was released for public consultation on 7 December 2018.

The second stage took place between December 2018 and June 2019, and involved the Taskforce undertaking substantial public consultation on its initial recommendations. Over 100 public and targeted meetings were held from Kaitaia to Invercargill, which were attended by over 3,000 people. The Taskforce also received 2,263 submissions and 3,338 online survey responses.

The Government has made important progress on other aspects of the EWP while the Taskforce has completed its work. Key examples include: the Learning Support Action Plan 2019-2025; the review of Vocational Education (RoVE); reviewing the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA); and developing Te Hurihanganui. Cabinet has also recently agreed to a 30 year vision for education and five government objectives for strengthening education and guiding the EWP going forward.

Page 8

The five objectives, which are used to group the next steps of the reforms outlined in this document are:

  • Learners at the centre of education—Learners/ākonga with their whānau are at the centre of education;

  • Barrier free access—Great education opportunities and outcomes are within reach for every learner/ākonga;

  • Quality teaching and leadership—Quality teaching and leadership make the difference for learners/ākonga and their whānau;

  • Future of learning and work—Learning that is relevant to the lives of New Zealanders today and throughout their lives; and

  • World-class inclusive public education—New Zealand education is trusted and sustainable.

What do we mean by Tomorrow's Schools?

Until the Tomorrow's Schools reforms of 1989, the governance and administration of New Zealand's compulsory education system was highly centralised. Prior to 1989, the Department of Education had responsibility for a wide range of academic and administrative matters to service the schooling system (such as school staffing, teacher registration and discipline and an Inspectorate function). It also provided government policy for all non-private learning institutions at primary and secondary level.

A network of decision-making boards acted as a conduit between the Department of Education and the local delivery of education in a particular region. Boards were responsible for virtually all decisions at the schooling level, although major administrative decisions (such as capital works, new schools and school closures) were made centrally.

In response to the findings of Administering for Excellence (the report produced by the 1988 Taskforce led by Brian Picot), New Zealand introduced one of the most devolved compulsory schooling systems in the world. Since the 1989 reforms, each school has been operating as a largely self-managing statutory Crown entity with responsibility for a wide range of functions that were previously centralised, such as employing staff and developing school policies.

While many changes to the compulsory schooling system have been made since Tomorrow's Schools was introduced (for example, the introduction of new curricula, the development of Māori medium education and the introduction of NCEA), these have been incremental as the system has required more support and have sometimes appeared ad hoc.

It is now time to look at the system as a whole and consider how to strike the right balance between what needs to be provided from the centre, what is best left to local schools to ensure strong connections with learners/ākonga, whānau and communities, and what needs to be better supported and enabled at the regional and local level.

Page 9 

The Taskforce Report

Box:

The Taskforce concluded its review and, on 2 July 2019, provided the Minister of Education with its final report: Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together: Whiria Ngā Kura Tūātinitini.

End box.

The Report focuses strongly on the need to improve equity and excellence for all learners/ākonga, particularly those whose needs are not currently being met. It also calls for the school system to be founded on the rights of the child (see footnote 1) and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and points to the need for localised support and decision-making and to build more trust within the system.

The Government welcomes the Taskforce Report and agrees there is a clear case for change. The Report is substantial, well-informed, and provides many useful insights and suggestions for improving our schooling system. The proposed Government approach set out in this document will make progress on the underlying intent of nearly all of the Taskforce proposals. Appendix Two sets out a reconciliation of the Government position with the Taskforce's recommendations and 52 proposed actions.

Footnote 1: "Rights of the child" is a term used by the Taskforce to refer to the rights agreed to in the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities".

Page 10 

The Case for Change

Persistent disparities

The case for change outlined in the Taskforce's Report aligns closely with what we have heard through Kōrero Mātauranga, fono, wānanga, and other fora over the last 18 months. Throughout all of these conversations, we have heard that New Zealanders value and appreciate our education system's strengths, but are also very clear that it must do better, especially for groups of learners/ākonga that are underserved by our system (i.e. Māori, Pacific peoples, children and young people with disabilities and with learning support needs, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds).

The Taskforce Report reinforces these views. The Report cites recent evidence that ranked New Zealand 33rd out of 38 developed countries for its overall educational inequality. (see footnote 2) While many learners/ākonga do well in New Zealand schools, the current system has failed to address the persistent disparities in educational outcomes and continues to leave some groups of learners/ākonga underserved. There is a very real and urgent case for change within compulsory schooling if we are to address New Zealand's long history of educational disparities.

 

Schools are too often isolated and unable to access adequate networks of support

A key reason for New Zealand's poor equity and achievement outcomes is that, since the Tomorrow's Schools reforms in 1989, schools have predominantly operated as autonomous, self-managing entities, loosely connected to each other, and with a distant relationship with the centre. This autonomy has left schools to operate largely on their own and without sufficient support. The result of this autonomous approach is what the Taskforce describes as "slow and uneven transfers of professional knowledge and skills, and wide variability in learner/ākonga performance across schools/kura, including within the same decile."

Our highly decentralised model, with limited opportunities for intervention even when things are going wrong, has also led to the creation of a lot of rules by the centre, compliance monitoring and high workloads. Furthermore, the Tomorrow's Schools reforms created systematic incentives for schools to compete for students, which in some areas has contributed to a culture of distrust between schools in the same communities, and has stifled collaboration.

School governance in a system with high levels of devolved autonomy is also challenging. In the thirty years since Tomorrow's Schools was introduced, the demands of the school governance role (in terms of the time, skills and expertise required) have expanded significantly. For example, School Boards of Trustees—a role performed largely by unpaid elected parents—must comply with at least 37 Acts of Parliament and perform a wide variety of often complex roles, such as the appointment and performance review of principals and managing suspensions, stand downs, exclusions, and expulsions.

Footnote 2: UNICEF Office of Research (2018). "An Unfair Start: Inequality in Children's Education in Rich Countries", Innocenti Report Card 15, UNICEF Office of Research—Innocenti, Florence. https://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/an-unfair-start-inequality-children-education_37049-RC15-EN-WEB.pdf

Page 11

While many school boards function well, others struggle to execute their governance responsibilities adequately. The impacts of inadequate or dysfunctional governance are not inconsequential, and can result in a school failing the learners/ākonga they are entrusted with for years, contributing to a high turnover of leadership and staff, and in the worst case scenarios, resulting in statutory interventions and/or judicial review.

The nature of the relationship between schools and central government is highly variable. Most of the time, schools operate at arm's length from the centre, but in some contexts, they act on direction from the centre (for example, the implementation of new curricula or assessment frameworks). This dynamic has contributed to a lack of clarity across the system and is part of the problem this work seeks to address. 

There is a lack of trust in the system

The Taskforce Report also highlights a lack of trust in the system, including that the necessary support will be available when it's needed, particularly for those that are underserved by the system. During the Review, schools and parents expressed frustration at the lack of consistent and accessible support from agencies, and the Taskforce noted that some of this is caused by a relative lack of Ministry staff at the front line, the need for stronger, more focused relationships with schools, and greater clarity about the respective roles in the sector.

The perceived lack of financial resources and flexibility to use them is also considered to limit the extent to which Ministry staff can meaningfully and effectively respond to the schools they serve.

The Taskforce's views also align with what we have heard in discussions with the profession on employment-related matters, including the pressures and challenges they face and their need for greater, more timely support (see footnote 3). A lack of trust manifests itself in the profession not feeling valued or included in education discourse, and can lead to a compliance-focussed culture, including unnecessary reporting requirements and over-testing of learners/ākonga.

The reforms to the Tomorrow's Schools model must support system-wide cultural and behavioural change that strengthens trust and reciprocity between all participants of the system, including the trust that learners/ākonga and their whānau must have that they will receive a great education.

While the scope of the Tomorrow's Schools Review was focussed on compulsory schooling, it is critical that the Government's response to the review takes the opportunity to strengthen the whole system from end to end.

Footnote 3: These discussions led to the establishment of an Accord between NZEI, the Post Primary Teachers Association and the Ministry of Education. The Accord is a way of bringing parties together to address a range of ongoing issues and start building a more trusting environment.

Page 12 

Moving towards a more networked, responsive and supported system

The Government will reset the governance, management and administration of the schooling system—moving from a highly devolved, largely disconnected and autonomous set of institutions, to a much more deliberately networked and supported system that is more responsive to the needs of learners/ākonga and their whānau.

We need to build a system where schools, leaders, and teachers feel less isolated; have opportunities to share and create best practice; and are more networked and interdependent. We need a system where leaders and teachers have a sense of shared ownership of the whole system not just their individual school.

We also need a system that has the networks and feedback loops necessary to drive continuous improvement and ensure that our teachers and leaders are supported to be more responsive and receptive to the needs and aspirations of all learners/ākonga and their whānau. This must happen at every part of the system and reflect the diverse identities, languages, cultures, and needs of all learners/ākonga in our schools.

System change of this nature and scale does not happen overnight and, in other countries, such as Finland, it has evolved over decades of hard work and commitment, starting with—in the first instance—ensuring that the system has the necessary precursors. These include ensuring there is an adequate supply of effective leaders and growing workforce capability.

Our approach for the reform of the governance, management and administration of the schooling system has three key parts. To address the weaknesses with our current system, rebuild trust, and shift towards a more networked, responsive and supported system, we need:

  • more responsive, accessible and integrated local support to schools (as well as early learning services), by substantially rebalancing the Ministry of Education towards more regional and local support, through the establishment of a separately branded business unit within the Ministry of Education, the Education Service Agency (ESA), that will lead a programme of substantial service level transformation;

  • stronger arrangements to underpin principal leadership of the schooling system; and

  • a better balance between local and national responsibilities for school property and network provision.

Page 13

1 More responsive, accessible, and integrated local support through establishing Education Service Agency as a separately branded business unit

Our system needs to provide much more responsive, accessible, and integrated support to governors, leaders, teachers, learners/ākonga and their whānau. However, we consider that establishing yet another separate entity would create more chasms in the system, be a distraction from the substantive work that needs to be done, and consume significant resources and capability that could be better utilised improving the system for learners/ākonga.

The Government considers that much of the intent of the Taskforce recommendations can be achieved by ensuring that we have all the support functions we need for an effective education system at an appropriate scale, with carefully considered and aligned decision rights and a strong local presence within current education agencies.

The approach we want to take to resetting the system recognises the appropriate location of different functions. Some functions are best delivered centrally. These include those where scale and consistency are important, and a degree of separation or independence is appropriate. Other functions are best delivered at an aggregated or regional level. These include functions where critical resources and/or expertise are scarce, and collaboration and coordination can play a key role in ensuring learner/ākonga success. And some functions must simply be provided close to learners/ākonga and whānau, because this is the best way of ensuring that individual needs can be met, parents and whānau can be actively engaged, and the voice of the local community, employers and Māori will be heard.

We want to build a much better resourced regional function that has a deeper knowledge across a range of service areas. It must have sufficient resources and the right capacity and capability to have close working relationships with every school/kura, early childhood education centre and, where appropriate, tertiary providers. It also needs to promote strong connections across the secondary-tertiary interface to support learning pathways to further learning and employment. We want to ensure that learners/ākonga, parents, whānau, governors, leaders, and teachers can access the support they need, when they need it.

We also want this localised/regionalised support system to have more decision rights and flexibility with funding than the current Ministry of Education regional offices.

We envisage developing and investing in more localised and timely support for governance, leadership, curriculum, teaching and learning practice, and sharing of good practice, from early learning through schooling and ultimately further learning and employment. This support must be of and for the sector and needs to include more permeability between the support functions and the sector, such as through a deliberate programme of secondments.

Page 14

Establishment of the Education Service Agency and redesigned Ministry of Education

To deliver this new improved support function, an Education Service Agency (ESA) will be established, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education.

The primary purpose of the ESA will be to deliver more responsive, accessible and integrated support by delivering functions relevant to the needs of teachers, leaders, students, whānau and their wider communities, to support equity and excellence of learning outcomes.

The redesigned "centre" of the Ministry will inform and enable the ESA and be responsible for those matters, for example, where national consistency and scale make sense, and where some degree of separation from the customer is preferable (e.g. to avoid unmanageable conflicts of interest.)

The design principles for the redesign will be:

  • delivering for all learners/ākonga and whānau, with particular focus on those the system currently does not serve well: Māori, Pacific, those with disabilities and/or learning support needs, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds;

  • a strong focus on working with and supporting education providers (early learning services, kura, schools, wharekura, including transitions between these and tertiary), with an emphasis on teaching and learning;

  • strengthening teaching and learning leadership;

  • enabling effective participation of family, whānau, iwi and community;

  • ensuring decision rights and responsibilities of the system as a whole are clear and informed by a sound evidence base; and

  • alignment of the ESA with the Government's approach to supporting the regions and minimising any overlaps in functions between agencies (e.g. designing a single integrated data source).

The new Ministry of Education and ESA will also support:

  • greater alignment and coherence;

  • clearer accountability; and

  • rights of redress (i.e. effective resolution of complaints/disputes, including the provision of a mediation service).

Consistency with the Māori-Crown relationship will be designed into both the ESA and the redesigned centre of the Ministry. Resources will pivot to the delivery of front line services relevant to achieving equity and excellence of learning outcomes.

The ESA will immediately focus on significant service-level transformation to support equity and excellence for learners/ākonga and their whānau and for educators and others across the system.

The leadership team of the redesigned centre and the ESA will reflect the emphasis set out here on accessible integrated local support.

Page 15

This service-level transformation will be:

  • focused in the areas of government education services that provide the greatest opportunities to enable educators to focus on learning and wellbeing;

  • able to make a significant change for those learners/ākonga who have traditionally been underserved by the education system: Māori, Pacific, those with disabilities and/or learning support needs, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds

  • able to deliver concrete improvements in planned stages on a path towards a transformed service offering; and

  • comprised of a small number of major service transformations (around five) enabled by the many components required to deliver them.

The Minister of Education has invited the Secretary for Education to design the ESA and the related operating model, including a programme of substantial service transformations, along with a redesigned Ministry of Education.

Structural change alone will not drive the behaviours and incentives needed to address the persistent disparities in educational outcomes. However, we consider that these structural proposals are critical for shifting behaviour, including the rebuilding of trust and relationships, and fostering greater collaboration across the system. These new arrangements will provide the necessary foundations for implementing other non-structural initiatives and interventions at a system-wide level that will have direct impact on equity. 

Monitoring and evaluation

The Taskforce recommended changes to the functions of ERO to focus on system wide evaluation rather than individual school reviews. The Government does not intend to progress this recommendation, as we believe that individual school reviews provide important information for schools, whānau and communities.

However, we want to strengthen the capability of schools to undertake self-evaluation and continuous improvement, including ensuring effective engagement with whānau and communities. The Chief Review Officer will provide advice about how its approach can support this, so that, over time, the ERO can increasingly free up resources to focus on system-level evaluation and review.

To monitor and report on progress towards achieving the system changes outlined in this paper, we will use the measurement methods outlined in Shaping a stronger education system with New Zealanders. This will ensure that progress towards making these changes is considered within the broader context of improvements that we are making across the whole education system. The Ministry of Education is developing advice on how this monitoring and reporting can best be delivered in a timely, coherent, and effective manner over the next five to ten years.

ERO and the Ministry of Education will ensure their respective research and evaluation functions provide a strong basis for generating effective system level information and evaluation that informs prioritisation, action, and improvement. There is a potential for greater connectedness between the Ministry of Education and ERO to make use of information and data to reduce the workload of schools in the context of monitoring and evaluation. There is also an opportunity for greater alignment with the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) and academic research.

Page 16 

2 Stronger arrangements to underpin principal leadership of the schooling system

The Tomorrow's Schools approach has had a heavy focus on school governance. Governance roles and duties are carefully prescribed with opportunities to intervene at the governance level when things go wrong. In practice, however, effective and enabled leadership, particularly by principals, is often more important to a school's success.

The Government will put in place the following changes to better underpin the role of principals:

A more visible support system for school leadership

The roles of principals, and other leaders, are distinct from those of teachers influencing student achievement more broadly and less directly. At present, there is only limited specific differentiation at a system level between these roles. This weakens the impact of initiatives that aim to respond specifically to the needs and demands of leadership. In addition, we do not have a systematic approach to identifying and growing leadership across the system.

We need talented and effective leaders to lead in ways that reflect the diverse identities, languages and cultures of learners in our schools, including growing the number of Māori and Pacific leaders in the system. We also need leaders who can influence people across the system to think and act differently, particularly those who work in schools with high proportions of ākonga who have been underserved within the current system.

The Teaching Council has undertaken considerable work with the education sector to develop their Leadership Strategy and Educational Leadership Capability Framework.

The Government intends to invite the Teaching Council to establish its activities in this area as a Leadership Centre. Our intention is that the Teaching Council will continue to provide leadership to teachers and direction for the education profession, including as the "standard setter" for the teaching profession, and setting an overall strategy for the profession.

To address the issues identified above, the redesigned Education Ministry will also be given additional functions to build the status and capability of leaders and principals. The Ministry will ensure that its support for leadership aligns with and supports the Teaching Council's leadership strategy. The leadership advisors will play an important role in this.

This will be a critical shift in our system design to ensure we have an adequate supply of effective leaders. The Government will seek further advice on the initial resourcing requirements and what these new functions should be. They could include, for example, roles in relation to:

  • establishing Leadership Advisors to support school leadership by principals and school governance by boards of trustees;

  • developing school performance management frameworks and requirements and giving effect to ECE leadership requirements through the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations;

Page 17
  • developing and operationalising the eligibility criteria for appointment as a principal, including associated training;

  • delivering leadership professional development for schools, early learning providers, and principals;

  • promoting leadership career pathways aligned to the Education Workforce Strategy.

We want to ensure there is a strong and coherent connection between the Ministry's new functions and the Teaching Council's Leadership Centre. Ministry of Education officials will develop advice on this in consultation with the Teaching Council and other professional bodies.

 

Leadership Advisors

The Government recognises there is a need for greater localised support for school leaders. As part of the Education Service Agency, a new Leadership Advisor role will be established. The Leadership Advisor role will provide a much stronger platform of arrangements to underpin effective leadership in our system and ensure a continuous focus on achieving equity and excellence for all learners/ākonga.

While the details of this new role still need to be worked through, we envisage two different types of specialised advisor—one for principals and one for boards. This is to reflect the different roles of principals/tumuaki and boards, the diverse challenges they face, and the need to ensure they are provided with appropriate and relevant support.

We expect that Leadership Advisors will be highly trusted educational professionals with the knowledge, expertise, and experience needed to provide on the spot support and advice, addressing issues as and when they arise. They will also play a key role in sharing best practice across the system to achieve equity and excellence, supporting collaborative networks such as Kāhui Ako, and encouraging and supporting innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

The Government has commissioned further advice on what specific functions should rest with a Leadership Advisor and what should be spread across other roles. For example, in addition to having different advisors for boards and principals, it may be appropriate to separate responsibility for guidance and support from responsibility for monitoring and enforcement.

Ultimately, we want to ensure that the roles and functions given to Leadership Advisors allow for an effective professional relationship with leaders, including a healthy and constructive tension that is based on shared understanding, trust, and respect.

Possible roles and functions for Leadership Advisors could include:

  • providing guidance and advice to Boards when appointing a new principal, including supporting Boards to access recruitment and appointment expertise where required;

  • ensuring a customised, connected process for the induction and ongoing mentoring and support of principals;

  • supporting principals and boards with significant challenges by making connections with expertise in the identified area;

  • carrying out the principal's performance review on the request of the Board of Trustees, and with the agreement of the principal;

Page 18
  • providing an additional accountability mechanism where a school is failing to make progress in delivering equitable outcomes for the groups of learners/ākonga that are currently underserved by our system;

  • working with principals to identify leadership potential and development opportunities for potential leaders, and providing or brokering appropriate professional learning and development (PLD);

  • supporting existing collaborative networks, such as Kāhui Ako, to maximise the knowledge and skills of the collective through sharing best practice to achieve equity and excellence; and

  • recommending intervention where there are persistent performance issues that have been unable to be resolved through other mechanisms.

We also need to consider the role of the Leadership Advisor in the context of the support and resources that are already available to principals and boards. For example, the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) currently provides a range of advisory services to its member boards. We will take this opportunity to assess the full range of offerings available to ensure that boards and principals have access to the complete package of measures and supports they need to perform their roles effectively. This work will be undertaken as part of the establishment of the ESA. 

Establishing minimum eligibility criteria for principals

The principal role is demanding and complex and critical to the success of a school. Currently the only legal requirement for appointment is being a registered teacher who holds a current practising certificate. (see footnote 4)

At present, our education system relies heavily on the ability of boards to identify, attract and employ highly effective principals in an environment of competition. While boards are supported by NZSTA and the Ministry with guidelines and templates, and other external sources, it is ultimately left to each board to develop the selection criteria it will use to appoint a principal.

Some boards also draw on a range of other supports for appointment according to their own needs and networks, such as hiring consultant advisers, undertaking consultation with their communities and staff about what they want from a principal, and asking other boards what they look for in a principal.

The Government will establish eligibility criteria for appointments to school principal roles so schools are served by leaders with the right skills and expertise. The criteria will take the form of minimum national standards that apply to all boards. Boards will be able to set additional school-specific criteria.

The responsibility for establishing the criteria will sit with the Minister of Education with the ability to delegate the authority to, for example, the Teaching Council, in the future.

Footnote 4: To support leadership capability, the Ministry of Education does, however, fund support for beginning principals in relation to leading learning and managing the school. Beginning principals receive regular, individualised support from a leadership advisor throughout the year, as well as mentoring from current practicing principals. Earlier this year, this support has been extended to other principals (as identified by the Ministry's regional offices and peak bodies) as working in complex contexts that require further development and support.

Page 19

Provisions will be included in the upcoming Education and Training Bill requiring the Minister of Education to issue specific criteria that must be met before a principal can be appointed. The Minister will also be required to consult the Teaching Council and other professional bodies on the proposed criteria.

Establishment of such criteria would:

  • create system-wide consistency about the skills, knowledge and expertise candidates for principal roles need to demonstrate;

  • support better understanding of the background and experience necessary for school leadership, amongst people aspiring to a principal role as part of their future career;

  • provide confidence for boards that they are making the right appointments;

  • signal that the role of principal is of importance to the system more broadly than as a leader of one school.

This proposal could potentially compound workforce supply issues by raising barriers to recruiting a principal, particularly in rural or isolated areas. It may also discourage existing principals from seeking a new principal position (depending on what the criteria are). However, given the criticality of the role in the success (or failure) of a school, the Government believes that we cannot strengthen and improve our current system without lifting the bar on the requirements for principalship.

This is "appointment" criteria and as such, would only apply to principals seeking appointment after the new legislation commences. As well as those applying as first time principals, this includes incumbent principals who apply for new roles after the new legislation commences.

The enabling provision is intended to come into force on the commencement of the Education and Training Act and there will be a minimum six months transitional period to allow sufficient time for the criteria to be developed and socialised with the sector.

Principals employed under the existing legislation who do not currently meet the new criteria would ideally, over time, upskill and develop to meet the same criteria as those appointed as principals under the new legislation. This will be considered as part of the longer term leadership work foreshadowed in this document.

 

Getting the right principals where they are most needed

The Taskforce proposed that incentives to attract highly capable principals/tumuaki to work in schools/kura with more complex challenges are broadened. The Government believes this proposal should go further. We already have some incentives in place, such as the Principal Recruitment Allowance and think we should be much more deliberate about the scope, scale and complexity of our principal roles. This work will be progressed in the medium term.

Page 20 

3 A better balance between local and national responsibilities for the network of schooling property and provision

Under the Tomorrow's Schools system, a number of responsibilities for school property and provision are devolved to school boards and principals. This has given schools and their communities a high degree of autonomy over network-related matters, but has also led to variability in the quality and condition of school infrastructure, high workloads for boards and principals, and duplication of effort and other inefficiencies across the schooling network as a whole.

The Tomorrow's Schools system reset provides an opportunity to address these issues and achieve a better balance between what is provided locally and nationally.

Responsibilities for property

The Tomorrow's Schools approach to the maintenance and management of school property has seen varied results. Some boards perform their duties well, while others struggle to keep pace, particularly where they have inherited infrastructure that was poorly maintained by previous boards. There is now too much variability in the condition of schools and how well they are maintained, and not all of our young people have access to quality learning environments.

Even when school boards do well with managing and maintaining their property, this function can be an unwelcome burden and a significant distraction from a school's core role of teaching and learning. A lack of clarity about school boards' maintenance and management roles and responsibilities can add to the burden.

In recent years, the Ministry of Education has responded to these concerns by strengthening its approach to asset management, and is increasingly offering some boards more support to fulfil their property related responsibilities. The Tomorrow's Schools reset is an opportunity to build on this work and strengthen the approach to property management and maintenance across the whole system.

As part of the system reset, we want to reduce the burden on schools by simplifying or removing infrastructure management and maintenance responsibilities from boards and centralising key services, such as planned and preventative maintenance. Over time, this will not only significantly improve the quality of school property and deliver efficiency gains, it will free up the time of principals and senior leaders at schools to focus more on lifting equity and excellence for all learners/ākonga.

As part of the Ministry redesign, the Secretary of Education will provide advice on the feasibility and cost of taking on more property related responsibilities from boards over the next 5 to 10 years, while ensuring schools and communities continue to have significant input into the design of their physical spaces. This will include, for example, the Ministry offering centrally managed capital works, procurement services, planned and preventative maintenance, and reactive maintenance services.

This new approach to school property management and maintenance will be a significant change. It will be subject to further detailed advice and dependent on future Budget decisions. The Ministry will introduce changes incrementally to enable the Ministry to regularly review and adapt services as needed, as well as provide time to align with the broader outcomes of Tomorrow's Schools reset, including the establishment of the ESA.

Page 21

A more strategic approach to the schooling network

The Government wants a stronger focus on network planning to support access to high quality schooling. We intend to develop a national strategy for future-focussed state schooling provision that is Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led. The National Education Network Plan is already being developed and Cabinet has agreed to the Growth Plan which has been released. Work is progressing on a redevelopment plan for existing schools.

There is a particular need to further develop and strengthen the Māori medium pathway, and the Government considers the National Education Growth Plan to be one part of how the system will support Māori medium education. This work will need to be done in consultation with iwi/Māori stakeholders. We are also interested in the potential to grow Pacific medium pathways. 

Taking a network-based approach to enrolment zones

The Government proposes to move the responsibility for developing and consulting on enrolment schemes from Boards of Trustees to the Education Service Agency.

Enrolment schemes established under the 1989 Act are the main tool the Ministry has to manage over-crowding in schools. Enrolment schemes reduce the need for expensive property solutions for over-crowded schools. They also reduce competition between schools. (Competition has made it harder to share good practice and exacerbated ethnic and socio-economic segregation).

Under the 1989 Act, the Secretary for Education can provide a written notice to a school that is, or is likely to be, overcrowded, and the board of that school must develop an enrolment scheme for the school. The board is responsible for both developing and consulting on enrolment schemes. The 1989 Act sets out specific consultation requirements that boards must comply with. The scheme must then be approved by the Ministry of Education.

Under the current framework, schools can manipulate the enrolment zone based on areas they most wish to take students from; for example, making zones that include high socio-economic neighbourhoods and exclude closer, more disadvantaged, neighbourhoods. This can detrimentally affect students that are already at a disadvantage.

Developing and consulting on establishing a new enrolment scheme, or modifying an existing scheme, is a significant workload for a group of people who are almost all volunteers. They can also be subject to intensive community lobbying and come under huge pressure to make changes to suit particular interest groups. This is not a fair position to place board members in.

In light of the issues with this framework, the Government believes that boards should no longer have the role of developing enrolment schemes. Instead, it should be undertaken at a regional level so that the best interests of all learners/ākonga and their whānau are taken into account.

The Ministry of Education (or once established, the ESA), at the regional level, is best placed to have this role. The Ministry will work closely with the relevant schools to ensure their views and those of their communities are taken into account as part of the design process. Schools will also be consulted on the enrolment scheme, along with other interested parties.

Page 22

This change will provide more transparency and consistency for the system, mitigate the risk of enrolment zones being used to serve the interests of individual schools in a way that causes detriment to other schools and students, and instead focus on what is best for all learners and schools in the area. It will enable a more cohesive approach to managing the provision of quality education for all learners within a community, their whānau, and the regional schooling network.

The Government will amend the Education Act 1989 to shift the responsibility for developing and consulting on enrolment schemes from Boards of Trustees to the Ministry of Education and to provide for boards of trustees to have input to the development of enrolment schemes. The detail of how boards will have input will be provided for in regulations.

The Bill will need to include transitional provisions to manage the change in responsibilities for developing and consulting on enrolment schemes. We propose that any schemes that are in development at the time the Bill comes into force will continue to be developed in accordance with the current provisions in the 1989 Act. Any enrolment schemes required to manage overcrowding in schools post the Bill coming into force will be developed and consulted in accordance with the new provisions.

The Government will also take the opportunity to make a minor updating change to another aspect of the requirements relating to enrolment schemes. Under the 1989 Act, a school must give notice of the fact that it has adopted, or made minor amendments to, an enrolment scheme. The definition of "give notice" in section 11B of the Act requires the notice to be published in a local newspaper. This is outdated and not reflective of modern communication modes. This definition will be updated so that the various notices given during operation of a scheme can be made through means including, but not limited to, publishing in local newspapers.

The Government will also consider other aspects of how enrolment schemes operate. This includes whether:

  • the existing balloting criteria for out-of-zone enrolment places set out in the Education Act 1989 continue to be fit for purpose;

  • grand-parenting provisions should apply when new enrolment schemes are established or changes are made to existing enrolment schemes; and

  • state-integrated schools should be required to use the same balloting criteria and processes as state schools for non-preference students.

Page 23 

Other components of the Government position

Box:

There are a range of other features to the proposed reset of the governance, management and administration of the schooling system, which can be progressed through the Government's Education Work Programme over the next five to ten years.

End box.

These are outlined below, grouped in accordance with the Government's five objectives. They have been inspired, either directly or indirectly, by the work of the Taskforce (see Appendix Two).

The Government's five education objectives:

  • Learners at the centre—Learners/ākonga with their whānau are at the centre of education

  • Barrier-free access—Great education opportunities and outcomes are within reach for every learner/ākonga

  • Quality teaching and leadership—Quality teaching and leadership makes the difference for learners and their whānau

  • Future learning and work—Learning that is relevant to the lives of New Zealanders today and throughout their lives

  • World class inclusive public education—New Zealand education is trusted and sustainable 

Learners at the centre

The education system should be responsive to the needs of learners/ākonga with their whānau—they are our reason for being, so we need to focus on what matters to them. The system needs to sustain their wellbeing, identities, languages and cultures as well as provide the learning they need in ways that work for them.

Refocusing the role of boards

Clause 5(2) of the 1989 Act sets out the board's objectives in governing the school. The primary objective is to ensure that every student at its school is able to attain their highest possible standard of educational achievement. The clause also provides for a number of secondary objectives.

The Education and Training Bill will remove the distinction between the existing primary and secondary objectives because we consider other objectives to be equally as important as the existing primary objective, the substance of which will be retained. The legislation will provide for four objectives that give as much weight to, for example, the board's obligations in relation to pastoral care and giving effect to Te Tiriti, as to the board's obligations in relation to academic achievement. We will include an objective to give effect to Te Tiriti (Objective 4) and student rights (as a part of Objective 2).

Page 24

School boards' primary objectives in governing schools will be:

  • Objective 1: To ensure that every student at the school is able to attain their highest possible educational standard

  • Objective 2: To ensure that the school is a physically and emotionally safe place for all students and staff and that the school gives effect to relevant student rights and takes all reasonable steps to eliminate racism, stigma, bullying and discrimination within the school

  • Objective 3: To ensure that the school is inclusive of and caters for students with differing needs

  • Objective 4: To ensure that the school gives effect to Te Tiriti including through:

—working to ensure that its plans, policies and local curriculum reflect local tikanga, mātauranga Māori and te ao Māori;

—taking all reasonable steps to make available instruction in tikanga Māori and te reo Māori;

—achieving equitable outcomes for Māori students.

In meeting these objectives, the board must:

  • have particular regard to the statement of National Education and Learning Priorities;

  • give effect to its obligations in relation to the foundation curriculum statements, the national curriculum statements, and national performance measures (if any);

  • give effect to its obligations in relation to teaching and learning programmes;

  • give effect to its obligations in relation to monitoring and reporting of student's progress;

  • perform its functions and exercise its powers in a way that is financially responsible;

  • if the school is a member of a community of learning that has a community of learning agreement under section 72, comply with its obligations under that agreement as a member of that community;

  • comply with all of its obligations under the (new) Education and Training Act or any other Act.

These changes to board objectives are also the primary means of providing in legislation for boards to give better effect to meeting their obligations in Te Tiriti. The revised objectives will require boards to give greater priority to their existing obligations under Te Tiriti. 

Giving effect to Te Tiriti

This objective requires boards to give effect to Te Tiriti and explains what they have to do to meet this requirement.

Boards working to ensure that their plans, policies and local curriculum reflect local tikanga, mātauranga Māori and te ao Māori

Requiring boards to work to ensure that their plans, policies and local curriculum reflect local tikanga, mātauranga Māori and te ao Māori, will ensure these concepts are integral to how schools work and their teaching and learning practices.

Page 25

Schools should form and maintain ongoing relationships with Māori communities, including local iwi and hapū, in order to ensure that their policies, plans and local curriculum reflect local tikanga, mātauranga and te ao Māori.

A requirement that plans, policies and practices reflect "local tikanga" rather than "the unique position of the Māori culture", as is currently required in the Education Act 1989, emphasises the importance of local history and practices, rather than a generalised view of Māori culture. 

Providing instruction on Te Reo and Tikanga Māori

Currently boards are required to take all reasonable steps to provide instruction in tikanga and te reo Māori for full-time students whose parents ask for it. Proposed objective 4—giving effect to Te Tiriti, will:

  • remove the current requirement that its availability is for full-time students only—under the new provision it would be available to any student;

  • remove the requirement that parents must first request instruction in tikanga and te reo; and

  • strengthen the expectation that students will learn tikanga Māori and te reo Māori at school.

There are currently insufficient numbers of te reo Māori teachers to ensure that every child can learn te reo Māori at school. Also, current funding is insufficient to support all Māori educational institutions to meet potential demand. However, the objective of this proposal is to challenge boards to improve these aspects of education for their ākonga. The new provision would give boards the flexibility to work with other providers and schools to provide this service, such as virtual learning networks, their Kāhui Ako or Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (the correspondence school).

There is more to be done, particularly through implementation of the Workforce Strategy and the Tomorrow's Schools Review, to achieve a system that truly reflects a partnership with Māori under Te Tiriti. The Ministry has existing programmes, and other supports under development, to grow the culturally capable workforce and the number of te reo Māori competent teachers. These supports will need to be developed further.

Given the status of te reo as a taonga and one of our national languages, it is incumbent on the Crown to ensure that education legislation provides impetus for system transformation. It will also contribute to meeting the Crown's duty to actively protect tino rangatiratanga rights and will also make a significant contribution to achieving the Crown's Strategy for Māori Language Revitalisation 2018-2023—Maihi Karauna.

 

Achieving equitable outcomes for Māori students

It is crucial to address the inequitable outcomes Māori experience in the schooling system. Requiring boards to take reasonable steps to reduce these inequities is a concrete way of giving effect to Te Tiriti at the individual school level.

This objective includes requirements for boards to develop and implement rules, policies, and directions to eliminate racism, stigma, bullying, and discrimination within the school.

Page 26 
Board Rules

We will also put forwards amendments in the Education and Training Bill to require boards to consult with students, staff and the school community when making school rules.

Boards have the ability under the 1989 Act to make rules. These rules are given the status of law. In contrast to other entities with the power to make rules, boards are not required to undertake prior consultation. We will amend the Bill to require a board to undertake consultation with its students, staff, and school community, on its rules. This would be another means of reflecting the Taskforce's broader intentions regarding greater student, staff and community engagement in their schools. 

Complaints and disputes resolution

Our system needs much better mechanisms for responding to children, young people's, family, and whānau voices, insights, and concerns.

There is a need for an independent body to address the complaints and disputes that students and their whānau have not been able to resolve with the school.

Currently, if a student or their whānau in the compulsory schooling system is unhappy with a board decision, they can seek a review by the Ombudsman or a judicial review in the High Court. These pathways can be intimidating and expensive, do not always provide a speedy remedy, and do not provide a certain outcome (the Ombudsman only makes recommendations, and the most common judicial review remedy is requiring the original decision maker to make the decision again, using a better process). In the education sector, unresolved issues, or issues that are not resolved in a timely manner, may lead to increased alienation from education and a failure to support the right to education.

Early childhood education, international students and tertiary students all have their own specific dispute resolution processes. In the compulsory schooling sector students and their whānau do not have the same voice to raise concerns about decisions that affect them.

It is particularly concerning a gap exists currently for students who are prevented by their school from realising their rights to education as provided for under the 1989 Act. Public consultation on the Government's proposals to strengthen the right to education highlighted the need for an accessible, independent complaints and dispute resolution scheme so that enrolled students could enforce their right to attend school fulltime.

Local complaints and dispute resolution panels

To address these issues and concerns, the Government will establish complaints and dispute resolution panels that can be easily accessed by students and their whānau who have not been able to resolve complaints and disputes with their school.

There will be no fees for accessing any of the services provided by the panels. While some dispute resolution mechanisms do have an application (or filing) fee, the Government has decided against this because imposing an application fee will create an additional barrier for students and their whānau wishing to resolve a complaint or dispute.

Page 27

Panels will only be able to consider "serious disputes", which would be defined in primary legislation as:

disputes relating to stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions, learning support, racism and discrimination, physical and emotional safety, physical restraint, enrolment and attendance, and the rights to education.

This will ensure panels can provide timely consideration of more serious matters, while also recognising that schools are best placed to make some decisions.

There is a need for local input to the resolution of complaints and disputes. In order to ensure adequate coverage and timely access to panels, there will need to be at least one panel in each Ministry of Education region.

More work, including detailed costings, is required on the design, establishment and operation of the panels. This will inform a business case, and more detailed proposals for regulations. We are therefore putting forward enabling legislation to establish the panels, which will locate the key components of the complaints and dispute resolution scheme in primary legislation, and enable detailed requirements and processes to be set out later in regulations.

Local input provides for localised knowledge and potentially more accessible and culturally appropriate processes. However, limiting panel membership to local people may not provide panels with the skills that are required, or diversity of panel members. It will also make it harder for panels to make consistent decisions and contribute to best practice.

To get the right balance of community representation, knowledge and skills, panels will be made up of local community members and members from a central pool of experts. This will also ensure a consistent and systemic view is taken to the resolution of complaints across the country.

The panels will be overseen by a Chief Referee appointed by the Minister of Education. The Chief Referee will be responsible for administration of panels and operational matters, including appointing members to the central pool of experts and to individual local panels. The Minister will also appoint Deputy Chief Referees if required. The appointment and removal criteria for both positions will be set in regulations and will be consistent with that which applies to similar positions in relation to other complaint and dispute resolution schemes. 

Mediation, recommendation and decision-making functions

Wherever possible, we should support students, parents and schools to resolve complaints and disputes at the lowest possible level, and in a way that is mindful of the ongoing relationship the parties will need to have.

However, there is also a power imbalance that exists in disputes between students, their parents and boards. The proposals outlined below are intended to address this imbalance.

Page 28

The primary focus of panels will be to resolve disputes through mediation. Mediation helps parties agree on recommendations for a way forward, with the help of an independent third party (a mediator). If agreement is reached, the parties agree to be bound by this agreement, and there is no further escalation of the complaint. This will enable some matters to be resolved in a more timely manner, without recourse to existing external review pathways and, for such matters, will provide a certain outcome that is binding on both parties. Mediation under this model includes facilitation, where the panel works with both parties to help them resolve the dispute without the need for a mediated agreement.

Some disputes will, however, not be able to be resolved by mediation so panels will also have the ability to make recommendations and, with prior approval of both parties, binding decisions. In relation to the latter, the parties can agree at any stage during the dispute resolution process to allow the panel to make a final decision and to be bound by that decision. In general, these functions will only be used as a last resort, where mediation has been unsuccessful or is not appropriate. It is expected that in most cases, mediation will be appropriate.

Students and parents can require a board to participate in mediation and other panel proceedings. Boards can request, but not require, students and parents to participate in such proceedings.

Consideration was given to panels having determinative functions and being able to make binding decisions without the approval of both parties, including over-turning board decisions. The Government has decided against this. If the panel did have these powers, there should be a right of appeal. Adding an additional appeal layer would make the process significantly more complex and moves us further away from the aim of having an accessible, low-level dispute resolution scheme that is able to resolve issues in a timely manner.

Recommendations will not be enforceable but we consider that mediated agreements, and binding decisions, should be enforceable. We propose to do this by providing for these agreements and decisions to have the status of a contract between the parties. The contract would be enforceable by either party through the existing courts and tribunals system.

Any powers necessary to support these functions will be provided for in regulations. 

Remedies

Panels will have the ability to order an apology, refer parties to mediation (if they have not already been to mediation), uphold, and, with the agreement of both parties, overturn or modify the original decision in relation to an individual student.

We also want panels to provide a check on the decisions and rules that boards make. Panels will have the ability to recommend that boards reconsider their rules/bylaws or policies if they are inconsistent with student rights, and make declarations (for example, that a school board's rule breaches student rights). These remedies are consistent with best practice guidelines issued by the Ministry of Justice.

Page 29 

Accessible, inclusive dispute resolution processes

To ensure accessibility and inclusion, panel processes and procedures will be culturally appropriate and will respect the diversity of the local student population. Where appropriate, such as removals disputes, panel processes and procedures will also draw on restorative practices, which place positive and respectful relationships at the centre of school life, and prioritise whānau involvement and learner wellbeing when trying to address students' behavioural issues. The enabling legislation will provide flexibility for processes and procedures to be tailored to the needs of the community.

To keep mediation and determination proceedings relatively informal and accessible, parties will not be allowed to be legally represented during any interactions with the panel. Allowing legal representation would substantially increase the cost and complexity of processes and procedures, and would disadvantage the party least able to afford representation. This is consistent with similar dispute resolution schemes. For example, the parties at Disputes Tribunal hearings are not allowed to be represented by lawyers. 

Other areas for further work

Consideration will be given as to how strategic planning and reporting regulations can further specify how boards work with their communities and miwi/hapū. The regulations that will be developed by 2022 will be used to clarify expectations around this engagement.

All national education agencies should share responsibility for upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the rights of the child, and report on their progress annually. The Ministry of Education will perform further work to understand how this might work in practice.

The Government will ask the Office of the Children's Commissioner to review the requirements for student participation in school governance, taking into account the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 12), and provide recommendations on what improvements could be made. 

Barrier free access

The system needs to ensure that great education opportunities and outcomes are within reach for every learner/ākonga. It needs to ensure specific supports are available to those who need them, and that all learners can access pathways that will support their aspirations.

Equity Index:

The Government recently agreed in principle to progress work on transitioning from the decile system to the Equity Index. This will more accurately target additional funding to the schools with higher levels of disadvantage, to mitigate the socio-economic challenges faced by their learners/ākonga.

The Minister of Education considers that the introduction of resourcing based on the Equity Index should be accompanied by an increase in the overall level of equity resourcing, to ensure that all schools are adequately resourced to mitigate the socioeconomic barriers faced by their students.

Page 30

The Ministry of Education will develop an equity package that takes a system-wide approach to improving equity in the education system. This would be contingent on securing funding from a future budget.

This would result in an increase to the overall quantum of resourcing that is targeted towards mitigating socio-economic disadvantage, so that New Zealand's investment in equity is more in line with comparable jurisdictions. It would also provide transition funding for managing the distributional impacts of moving to the Equity Index. 

Provide better support for learners/ākonga with disabilities and/or learning support needs:

The recently released Learning Support Action Plan 2019-2025 is well aligned with what the Taskforce has proposed in this area. The introduction of Learning Support Coordinators introduces a new, localised level of support that we can continue to build on. The Learning Support Coordinators are an integral part of a more flexible and joined-up approach to learning support, called the Learning Support Delivery Model, which is already being implemented across New Zealand.

In addition, the ESA, enabled by the redesigned Ministry, will ensure that leaders and teachers are well supported to identify and respond to the needs of learners/ākonga with disabilities and/or learning support needs, and the needs of their whānau. The ESA will also play a key role in ensuring that excellent practice and behaviours are acknowledged, shared, and embedded through local support networks.

The Government will direct officials to give particular consideration to how the development of the ESA can help improve outcomes for children and young people with disabilities and learning support needs, in addition to advancing the Learning Support Action Plan. 

Schools as full-service sites:

Over the longer term, the Government will look at developing national guidelines for schools to become full-service sites that offer extensive wraparound services in socio-economically disadvantaged communities. This is consistent with work underway across the wider public service (e.g. the reform of the State Sector Act 1988) and the Government's broader wellbeing approach. 

More effective transitions by providing a secure and trustworthy information sharing platform:

Work is underway to improve and strengthen information sharing across the education system through Te Rito (the Student Information Sharing Project), and as part of the work arising from the Curriculum, Progress and Achievement work. (see footnote 5) 

Joint secondary school-tertiary learning:

It is important that our system builds strong connections between relevant parties that support the skills, employment and wellbeing of our learners/ākonga. Work is already underway in this area through the review of secondary-tertiary pathways and funding. Removing barriers to funding for secondary-tertiary learning will support better access, and a smooth transition into vocational education, and engages these students with further learning and employment opportunities before completing their secondary schooling.

Footnote 5: https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/curriculum-progress-and-achievement/

Page 31 

Quality teaching and leadership

The education system needs to deliberately network, support and invest in the education workforce, and empower people to work together to make a difference for learners/ākonga and their whānau.

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. 

Strengthening Boards of Trustees:

The Government believes that boards of trustees should be provided with professional support, guidance and oversight.

Some training for boards is currently available, including through NZSTA. We will take this opportunity to assess whether the range and nature of that training is fit for purpose, or if it could be expanded and/or improved. This work will also include the implications of the new organisational arrangements for the Ministry for delivering these services.

The Ministry will provide advice on whether Boards of Trustees members should be required to undertake mandatory training as part of their role. As well as training in governance, this could also include upskilling boards in the functions that are specific to their important role in our system such as ensuring fair, transparent, and lawful processes are followed around disciplinary action.

There is a need to support greater engagement by Māori in school governance. The Ministry will carry out further work, in consultation with iwi/Māori, on how this could be achieved in practice.

A range of statutory interventions also exist in the Education Act, but the Ministry has limited capacity to use them in a timely and effective manner. The priority is therefore to create a substantial level of integrated, regionally and locally based system support through the ESA. This support should also ensure that where interventions are needed, this is identified in a timely way and acted on immediately in order to preserve the rights and interests of learners/ākonga and their whānau to a high quality education. 

Code of Conduct:

Periodically issues have arisen regarding the behaviour of individual members of school Boards of Trustees. During its consultation phase, the Taskforce was informed of a number of concerns, in particular Board members seeking to progress their own interests rather than those of the board. In the absence of any statutory-based individual or collective duties, the only guidance as to the responsibilities of board members is the NZSTA's voluntary Code of Behaviour.

The Taskforce has recommended the creation of a mandatory national Code of Conduct for school Boards of Trustees. Such a Code would give board members a common basis to work from, encourage the development of good practice over time, and provide for more transparent accountability.

We agree with the Taskforce that there is a need to specify individual and collective duties for board members, and to make compliance mandatory.

Page 32

In the education sector, school Boards of Trustees are the only Crown Entity governing body for which the individual and collective duties of members are not set out in either the Education Act 1989 or the Crown Entities Act 2004. In the case of school boards, the application of generic statutory duties designed to provide the same level of accountability as would be expected of professional board directors would be complex. School boards have a unique range of members with differing levels of experience and skills, and a strong emphasis on voluntary, representative members (such as student and parent representatives).

A Code of Conduct provides greater flexibility to set out commonly held expectations as to the minimum standards of conduct expected of board members, which can then be tailored as appropriate for particular types of members, such as the student representative. By setting out the minimum standards, individual school boards can then decide to expand upon these to reflect local expectations, provided these are consistent with those in the Code of Conduct.

For a mandatory Code of Conduct to be effective, there should be remedies available for addressing significant and/or persistent breaches of the Code. Both examples (see footnote 6) of statutory based Codes of Conduct for members provide for remedies in the event of Code breaches, comprising misconduct on the part of a member.

We intend that:

  • the Minister of Education will have the power to issue, by Gazette notice, a mandatory Code of Conduct setting out the minimum standards of conduct expected of members of school Boards of Trustees;

  • the Minister of Education will be required to consult with the national bodies representing the interests of governing bodies of schools, and any other stakeholders that he or she considers ought to be consulted;

  • the Code of Conduct will be a disallowable instrument; and

  • individual school boards will be able to specify additional standards, by way of resolution, provided these are consistent with the Education Act 1989 and the standards set out in the Code of Conduct.

There should be appropriate remedies for breaches of the Code of Conduct, so making the Code of Conduct a disallowable instrument would enable external scrutiny by the Regulations Review Committee. Such an approach is consistent with that adopted for the mandatory Code of Conduct for the teaching profession.

Any remedies need to take account of the autonomous position of school Boards of Trustees. In the first instance school boards should have the ability to censure a member for significant and/or repeated breaches of the Code of Conduct. Where the breaches are of the minimum standards of conduct, and the board believes that a member's failure to comply with the Code of Conduct may justify the member's removal from the board, the Minister, acting on written notice from the board, should, if satisfied that there is just cause to do so, be able to remove the member.

Footnote 6: For a mandatory Code of Conduct to be effective, there should be remedies available for addressing significant and/or persistent breaches of the Code. Both examples of statutory based Codes of Conduct for members [1] provide for remedies in the event of Code breaches comprising misconduct on the part of a member.

Page 33

The process for removal of a member of a school Boards of Trustees is similar to that provided for in the case of a member of a tertiary education institution council, which have a similar status to school boards of trustees under the Crown Entities Act 2004. 

Supporting new teachers:

The Taskforce has 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:

  • 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 which included increasing the length of student placements in schools.

The Ministry of Education will consider the Taskforce's recommendations, along with alternative approaches to strengthen initial teacher education, as part of a future programme of work. 

Future of learning and work

The education system needs to be future-focussed and adapt to the changing world and changing knowledge about teaching and learning, so that what New Zealanders learn is relevant and useful for their lives today and throughout their lives.

The establishment of a nationally based Curriculum Centre to provide curriculum leadership and expertise:

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 provide advice on what it would take to create a much clearer and larger critical mass of expertise that leads, develops and supports curriculum development and delivery. This will include work with NZQA to ensure strong alignment of NCEA assessment and the intentions of The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. (see footnote 7) 

Strengthening the Māori medium pathway:

We need to ensure our future education system is more responsive to meeting the needs and aspirations of Māori learners/ākonga and their whānau. Work in this area must be undertaken in partnership with Māori and considered in the wider context of work by the Ministry of Education to refresh Ka Hikitia (the Māori Education Strategy) and Tau Mai Te Reo (the Māori Language in Education Strategy).

The Ministry of Education will develop a plan for taking this work forward, including the process for engagement with Māori.

Footnote 7: As set out in Shaping a stronger education system with New Zealanders, https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/shaping-a-stronger-education-system-for-all/

Page 34 

Prioritising te reo Māori:

The Government fully endorses the Taskforce proposal to prioritise te reo Māori. The recent budget announcement of $42 million additional funding through Te Hurihanganui to support better engagement between schools and whānau, and teacher development reflects this priority. Other initiatives in place that also support giving greater priority to te reo Māori in PLD include Te Ahu o te Reo and guidelines for the use of PLD funding. 

Flexible learning and specialist provision:

Over the longer term, the Government will consider opportunities to promote a more cohesive national approach to support flexible learning and specialist provision. This would include the roles of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura) and the Virtual Learning Network (VLN), and the national and local special schools/kura. 

World class inclusive public education

The education system needs to be trusted by all New Zealanders, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi must be our foundation. The education system also needs to be sustainable, so that it can continue to support the wellbeing of our people and nation.

The future of Kāhui Ako (Communities of Learning):

The Government will develop and improve the Kāhui Ako model, through less prescriptive settings. The strengthening of collaborative networks across the system is a key element for creating trust, and building an interdependent education system. 

Resourcing:

The Minister of Education will direct his officials to work with relevant parties, and with appropriate regard to the Accord, to consider resourcing for staffing entitlements as part of a future work programme.

Page 35 

What's next?

Box:

The Government envisages that transforming the compulsory school system, in the way set out in this document, will require significant time and effort that will need to be sustained over the course of several years.

End box.

Further work, including detailed policy design, is required to fully understand the design, implementation, resourcing and potential legislative requirements.

The total cost of addressing the systemic issues outlined in this document and shifting to an education system that serves all learners/ākonga equally well, is likely to be significant. The Government will need to consider funding implications over the next three to four Budgets.

We have prioritised areas that will make the greatest difference to improving equity and excellence for learners/ākonga and their whānau, and that will establish the conditions, attitudes and behaviours necessary to ensure that system transformation unfolds over time in a way that is self-sustaining and self-reinforcing (e.g. through focusing on leadership and system support).

A full list of initiatives and timeframes for development is included as appendix one.

Pages 36-37 

Appendix 1

tn: The colour coded timeframes showing the progress of the following 5 objectives have been omitted in the e-text. End tn.

Objective 1: Learners at the centre

  • New objectives that Boards must give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and relevant student rights

  • Legislative provisions for a complaints/disputes resolution service in the schooling system

  • Invite Children's Commissioner to review requirements for learners participation in school governance

  • Disputes resolution service, including a mediation service 

Objective 2: Barrier-free access

  • Shift responsibility for developing and consulting on enrolment schemes from Boards of Trustees to the Ministry of Education

  • Develop national guidelines for full-service school sites

  • Review balloting criteria and enrolment scheme management

  • Implement Learning Support Action Plan 2019-2025

  • Adopt the Equity Index 

Objective 3: Quality teaching and leadership

  • Establish a mandatory Code of Conduct for Boards of Trustees

  • Mandatory training for Boards of Trustees members

  • Enabling legislation to set eligibility criteria for school principal roles

  • Shaping Leadership Advisor roles to provide support to Boards & principals

  • Review factors taken into account when determining principal incentives

  • Strengthen initial teacher education

  • Support greater engagement by Māori in school governance

  • Invite the Teaching Council to establish a Leadership Centre

  • Establish eligibility criteria for principal appointments 

Objective 4: Future of learning and work

  • Development of a Curriculum Centre (with alignment to assessment function)

  • Strengthen the Māori medium pathway 

Objective 5: World class inclusive public education

  • Strengthen collaborative networks across the system

  • National strategy for school network planning—National Education Growth Plan

  • Establish an Education Service Agency

  • Re-design the Ministry of Education

  • Improve efficiency of school property management while preserving schools autonomy/input

Page 38 

Appendix 2

Reconciliation of the Government position and the Tomorrow's Schools Taskforce's recommendations and actions

Response categories

Progress further

Either endorse or agree with the intent of the Taskforce proposal as it reaffirms existing practice, is already being progressed within an existing work programme, or there is scope to include in a work programme that is currently underway. Legislative changes will be progressed as appropriate in the Education and Training Bill (due to be introduced in November 2019). 

Further analysis required

Agree with the underlying intent of the proposal and/or problem identified by the Taskforce, and ask officials to progress the proposal further alongside alternative options, and to provide further advice. 

Do not progress

Do not progress on the basis that these proposals that recommend significant structural change or would remove decision rights on significant system matters from the Minister of Education or the action point reflects the status quo (and so no change is required). 

Priorities

Note that the progression timeframe indicated below refers to the commencement (or continuation) of the policy work and further decisions, not necessarily the implementation timeframe. For most proposals, implementation would be subject to further analysis, legislative change (as required) and securing adequate resources, which will be contingent on Budget decisions.

Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Priority B: Progress within the next 2-4 years

Priority C: Progress within 4+ years

Priority D: Do not progress 

Work streams

The work streams associated with the Tomorrow's Schools reforms are grouped under the five Government priority areas.

Learners at the Centre: Learners/ākonga, with their whānau, are at the centre of education

Barrier-free access: Great education opportunities and outcomes are within reach for every learner/ākonga

Quality teaching and leadership: Quality teaching and leadership makes the difference for learners/ākonga and their whānau

Future of learning and work: Learning that is relevant to the lives of New Zealanders today and throughout their lives

World class inclusive public education: New Zealand education is trusted and sustainable

Page 39 

Recommendation One—Supporting Boards of Trustees

Taskforce Recommendation

That Boards of Trustees:

  • Are provided with more professional support and oversight, through the appointment of a Leadership Advisor to the board, mandated training, a national code of conduct, and timely interventions to address any problems;

  • Are more representative of their communities, and work more collaboratively across the network of schools/kura, so that they can better spread good practice; and

  • No longer have major responsibility for capital property projects or enrolment scheme development and consultation.

Response

The Government agrees with the intent of the recommendation. We should provide boards with more support and encourage them to be more representative of the community they serve. Further work is required to ensure the response is workable, builds trust and does not impose unreasonable compliance costs.

Central government should take a much more active role in the management of school property and the operation of school enrolment schemes. 

Taskforce action points

1a.

All areas of school/kura governance decision making are explicitly reviewed annually by boards to ensure adherence to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the rights of the child.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Learners at the centre 

1b.

Boards of Trustees give greater priority to:

  • Working with the school/kura community and mana whenua to set the strategic direction and plans for the school/kura

  • Monitoring and evaluating learner/ākonga belonging, wellbeing and success; and

  • Working with other schools/kura, iwi and government agencies for the mutual benefit of the learners/ākonga, whānau and schools/kura.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Learners at the centre 

1c.

A new role of Leadership Advisor is established to work with boards and principals/tumuaki to maximize their success.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership 

1d.

All board members are required to undertake governance training with specific training for board chairs.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership 

1e.

All boards ensure representation from mana whenua either by election or appointment.

Response: Further analysis required

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership

Page 40 
1f.

The Children's Commissioner reviews and updates the requirements for learners/ākonga participation in school/kura governance, taking into account the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 12).

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Learners at the Centre 

1g.

Responsibility for five year property agreement (5YA) and major capital works is removed from boards of state schools/kura with an option for some schools/kura to retain responsibility based on national criteria.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: World class inclusive public education 

1g. (continued)

Property matters for state integrated schools/kura remain the responsibility of their proprietors.

Response: Do not progress

Priority: Priority D: Do not progress

Work stream: World class inclusive public education 

1h.

Property maintenance, financial and procurement services are made available to boards that wish to use them by the Education Support Learning Network (ESLN) office.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: World class inclusive public education 

1i.

Developing and consulting about enrolment schemes is carried out by the local Education Support Learning Network (ESLN) rather than the board so that the best interests of all learners/ākonga and their whānau are taken into account.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Barrier-Free Access 

1j.

A national code of conduct for Boards of Trustees is established.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership 

1k.

To address governance and leadership problems that adversely affect school/kura, the powers and type of timely and responsive intervention are expanded and administered by the Education Support Learning Network office.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership

Page 41 

Recommendation Two—Supporting School Leadership

Taskforce Recommendation

That, to assure the quality, diversity and professional expertise of school/kura leadership:

  • A national Leadership Centre is established within the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand;

  • The Leadership Centre develops national eligibility criteria and guidelines for principal/tumuaki appointment and performance review;

  • The new role of Leadership Advisor in the Education Support Learning Network (ESLN) has responsibility to work with each principal/tumuaki and their Board of Trustees in and across schools/kura; and

  • Incentives to lead schools/kura in complex contexts are broadened.

Response

The Government agrees with the intention of strengthening school leadership and will progress work towards this though the Quality Teaching and Leadership priorities. 

Taskforce action points

2a.

A Leadership Centre is established within the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 12-18 months

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership 

2b.

The Leadership Centre sets national eligibility criteria for principal/tumuaki appointment and guidelines for performance review. It should also provide a single set of professional standards for principals/tumuaki, to be used for their performance review.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 12-18 months

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership 

2c.

Leadership Advisors employed by the ESLN will work collaboratively with each principal/tumuaki in their school/kura.

Leadership Advisors will also facilitate the collective contribution of principals/tumuaki to successful learning across the ESLN.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 12-18 months

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership 

2d.

Incentives to attract highly capable principals/tumuaki to work in schools/kura with more complex challenges are broadened.

Response: Further analysis required

Priority: Priority B: Progress within the next 2-4 years

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership

Page 42 

Recommendation Three—Supporting Teachers/Kaiako

Taskforce Recommendations

That, to assure the quality, diversity and professional expertise of teachers/kaiako, paraprofessionals and specialist professionals, we have:

  • A comprehensive education workforce strategy is implemented, monitored and reviewed;

  • Improved pathways from initial training to full certification;

  • Paraprofessional career pathways; and

  • A national Curriculum Centre, located within the Ministry of Education, that works with the Education Support Agency to ensure teachers have high quality advice and resources.

Response

The Government agrees with the intent of this recommendation of supporting and developing the schooling system workforce. 

Taskforce action points

3a.

A comprehensive workforce strategy is implemented, monitored, reviewed and publicly reported annually, with priority given to ensuring that the diversity of the learner/ākonga population is reflected in the workforce.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership 

3b.

National eligibility criteria for schools/kura that wish to host student teachers/kaiako and/or employ beginning teachers/kaiako are developed collaboratively by the Ministry of Education, Teaching Council, Initial Teacher Education providers and professional association peak bodies.

Response: Further analysis required

Priority: Priority C: Progress within 4+ years

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership 

3c.

The eligibility criteria includes professional standards for the roles of tertiary teacher educator, and in-school Associate Teacher and Mentor Teacher, and are developed collaboratively.

Response: Further analysis required

Priority: Priority C: Progress within 4+ years

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership 

3d.

Additional resources are provided in the system to significantly improve the pathway from Initial Teacher Education to fully certified teacher/kaiako, recognising the costs to a school/kura of supporting learners/ākonga and beginning teachers/kaiako.

Response: Further analysis required

Priority: Priority C: Progress within 4+ years

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership 

3e.

The Education Support Agency, working with local directors, approves schools/kura that meet the national eligibility criteria, in order to employ and access the additional resources to support and mentor beginning teachers/kaiako.

Response: Further analysis required

Priority: Priority C: Progress within 4+ years

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership

Page 43 
3f.

The education workforce strategy should identify and support career and employment pathways, occupational or cultural standards and associated professional development for teacher aides and cultural experts who undertake roles which support learners/ākonga and their whānau and maximise the teacher's pedagogical role.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership 

3g.

A nationally based Curriculum Centre is established and located within the Ministry of Education to enable effective delivery of the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa for all learners/ākonga.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Future of learning and work 

3h.

The Curriculum Centre, works collaboratively with the Education Support Agency to grow and sustain local expertise.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Future of learning and work 

3i.

The Education Support Agency has discretionary professional support, advisory and specialist professional services funding to respond coherently to locally identified needs and support collaboration and sharing of best practice.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership 

3j.

Funding for Kāhui Ako is reallocated to the local Education Support Learning Networks.

Response: Do not progress

Priority: Priority D: Do not progress

Work stream: Not applicable 

3k.

Requirements for the Kāhui Ako model to provide more flexibility in clustering arrangements and achievement challenges, and in the use of staffing and funding resources.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: World class inclusive public education 

3l.

The Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand develops more flexible guidelines for teacher/kaiako appraisal, including team and peer appraisal.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership

Page 44 

Recommendation Four—Strengthening School Provision

Taskforce Recommendation

That the schooling provision strategy needs to:

  • Facilitate a parallel Kaupapa Māori pathway;

  • Be Te Tiriti o Waitangi led and inclusive of iwi;

  • Develop more effective transitions as learners/ākonga move through the schooling system;

  • Expand full service sites to provide additional services to communities with high levels of disadvantage; and

  • Make better use of digital and specialist learning expertise.

Response

The Government agrees with the intent of this recommendation and intend to direct further work on all proposals. 

Taskforce action points

4a.

An autonomous governance body is formed to support Kaupapa Māori, which includes the educational organisations currently recognised as Kaupapa Māori: Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa and Ngā Kura ā Iwi o Aotearoa, and respects their differences.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Future of learning and work 

4b.

A national strategy for future-focused state schooling provision is developed that is Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led and regularly reviewed and refreshed by the Ministry of Education and iwi.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: World class inclusive public education 

4c.

The Ministry enables more effective transitions by providing a secure and trustworthy information sharing platform from early learning/Kōhanga Reo through schooling to tertiary.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Barrier-Free Access 

4d.

National guidelines are developed for schools/kura to become full-service sites that offer extensive wraparound services in socio-economically disadvantaged communities.

Response: Further analysis required

Priority: Priority B: Progress within the next 2-4 years

Work stream: Barrier-Free Access 

4e.

A review of the roles of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura) and the Virtual Learning Network (VLN), and the national and local special schools/kura, is undertaken with the aim of developing a more cohesive national approach to flexible learning and specialist provision.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority B: Progress within the next 2-4 years

Work stream: Future of learning and work 

4f.

The Ministry of Education investigates the most effective ways to fund successful joint secondary school-tertiary learning, and make the changes necessary to encourage greater uptake.

Response: (blank)

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Barrier-Free Access

Page 45 

Recommendation Five—More Equitable Access to Schooling

Taskforce Recommendation

That equitable access to schooling for all learners/ākonga needs to be assured through:

  • The establishment of independent parental and learner/ākonga advocacy and complaints resolution panels;

  • Developing fairer enrolment processes;

  • Prioritising te reo Māori;

  • Prioritising Pacific language pathways; and

  • Better local provision planning.

Response

The Government agrees with the intent of the overarching recommendation (i.e. to support more equitable access to schooling). With three exceptions, all proposals within this theme will be progressed further. 

Taskforce action points

5a.

Independent community-based panels are established locally, by the ESLN, to resolve any learner/ākonga or parent or whānau issues that have not been able to be resolved at the school/kura level.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Learners at the Centre 

5b.

The Ministry of Education's workforce strategy and PLD funding prioritize a step-change plan to progress the capability and confidence of teachers/kaiako and paraprofessionals working with learners/ākonga to use te reo Māori in their work.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Future of learning and work 

5c.

Each ESLN has responsibility for planning local schooling provision in the context of the national strategy, in particular to ensure high quality and reasonably convenient access for all to:

  • Māori medium pathways.

And also to:

  • Pacific medium pathways where there is both population and demand, and

  • Pathways for those with additional learning and behaviour needs.

Response: Further analysis required

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: World class inclusive public education 

5d.

The ESLN reviews existing enrolment schemes and approves new ones where required, to ensure they are fair and reasonable, and meet the goals of the local network plan.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Barrier-Free Access 

5e.

To assure the viability and quality of all schools/kura in a network, the ESLN monitors and actively manages out of zone enrolments.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Barrier-Free Access 

5f.

The ESLN makes decisions on school/kura closures, where an individual school/kura has continual difficulty providing quality learning.

Response: Do not progress

Priority: Priority D: Do not progress

Work stream: Not applicable 

5g.

Where there is more demand than places, all state-funded schools/kura, whether state or state-integrated, will use the same balloting criteria and processes described in the Education Act 1989.

Response: Further analysis required

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 12-18 months

Work stream: Barrier-Free Access

Page 46 

Recommendation Six—Disability and Learning Support

Taskforce Recommendation

That implementation of the national strategy and policy in Disability and Learning Support must ensure effective collaboration and coordination with the ESLN to improve and spread local knowledge, expertise, and accessibility.

Response

The Government agrees with the intent of the recommendations and notes that work is already underway through the Government's recently released Learning Support Action Plan 2019-2025. 

Taskforce action points

6a.

The Ministry of Education works across the system to lead national strategy and policy in Disability and Learning Support.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Barrier-Free Access 

6b.

The ESLNs are provided with the resources and key expertise to implement the national strategy and policy in Disability and Learning Support, thus providing better accessibility to schools/kura, learners/ākonga, and whānau.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Barrier-Free Access

Page 47 

Recommendation Seven—Improving Resourcing

Taskforce Recommendation

That:

  • Equity funding for the schooling sector is more equitably calculated, precisely distributed, and substantially increased;

  • Additional staffing is provided for primary leadership and guidance counselling; and

  • Incentives are broadened for effective teachers/kaiako and leaders to work in complex contexts.

Response

The Government agrees with the intent of the overarching recommendation and notes that Cabinet has recently agreed in principle to progress work on transitioning to the Equity Index. 

Taskforce action points

7a.

The new Equity Index is implemented as soon as possible and equity funding is increased to a minimum of 10% of total school resourcing (operational and staffing) in relation to the level and concentration of disadvantage of the learners/ākonga enrolled in a school/kura.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Barrier-Free Access 

7b.

Improved staffing entitlements are provided for primary school/kura management, as well as guidance counselling staffing entitlements.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority C: Progress within 4+ years

Work stream: World class inclusive public education 

7c.

Incentives are broadened to attract and retain effective leaders and teachers/kaiako in schools/kura in more complex contexts (Same as Action Point 2d).

Response: Further analysis required

Priority: Priority B: Progress within the next 2-4 years

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Leadership

Page 48 

Recommendation Eight—Strengthened National Education Agencies

Taskforce Recommendation

That:

  • Significantly increased decision making and budget discretion to support schools/kura be devolved through the establishment of Education Support Learning Networks (ESLNs) as part of a new Education Support Agency;

  • The Ministry of Education significantly increase its focus on curriculum learning assessment and pedagogy through the establishment of a high level specialist Curriculum Centre. This will include stronger oversight of NCEA and NZQA quality assurance processes;

  • The school property portfolio is moved to a separate entity either within or outside of the Ministry;

  • A Leadership Centre be located in the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand; and

  • A new repurposed ERO focuses on systems review, evaluation of the performance of education agencies and no longer undertake individual school/kura reviews.

Response

The Government agrees with the need to significantly strengthen and provide more distributed support functions. This will be achieved within current organisations, rather than through the creation of new agencies. 

Taskforce action points

8a.

All national education agencies share responsibility for upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the rights of the child, and performance is reviewed as part of their annual report.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Learners at the Centre 

8b.

An Education Support Agency (with Education Support Learning Network offices) is established to partner locally with schools/kura and strengthen ongoing improvement in schooling.

Response: Further analysis required

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: World class inclusive public education 

8c.

The Ministry of Education is reconfigured to prioritise its system leadership role through well-founded policies, strategies, curriculum expertise, and provision of resources, data analysis, and research for continual system improvement.

Response: Further analysis required

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: World class inclusive public education 

8d.

School/kura property services are undertaken by a self-managing entity within or separate from the Ministry of Education.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: World class inclusive public education 

8e.

ERO is repurposed and renamed the Education Evaluation Office (EEO) to provide national level evaluation and report on education system progress to support ongoing improvement.

Response: Do not progress

Priority: Priority D: Do not progress

Work stream: Not applicable

Page 49 
8f.

A national Leadership Centre is established and located in the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Quality Teaching and Learning 

8g.

NZQA works with Curriculum Centre oversight to ensure strong alignment of NCEA assessment and the intentions of the New Zealand curriculum.

Response: Progress further

Priority: Priority A: Progress within the next 18-24 months

Work stream: Future of learning and work

End of Supporting all schools to succeed: Reform of the Tomorrow's Schools system