Almost half a million kids are now benefitting from their school being part of Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako, says Education Minister Hekia Parata.
“Another 32 Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako have now been approved, taking the total to 180 across every region of the country,” says Ms Parata.
“This is great news because it means that just two years into the four-year roll-out of this ground-breaking programme, 1503 schools are involved in Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako. That’s 60 per cent of all New Zealand schools working together to raise student achievement.
“In addition, we now have 95 early childhood education services involved in Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako, and, for the first time, three tertiary education providers have joined.
“It is tremendous to see Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako growing, not just in numbers but in providing a full pathway for students from early childhood through to senior secondary and tertiary education. This is about every child and young person getting a great education, every day.”
Of the Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako that have already been established, 46 have had their achievement challenges endorsed and more than 50 have appointed principals to the new leadership role. In addition over 460 teachers have been appointed to new teaching roles, but Ms Parata says she is keen to see more.
To help people find Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako in their area and find out more about them, a new online tool has been launched.
“The new Know Your CoL tool profiles each Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako and has useful information such as achievement data for the specific Communities,” says Ms Parata.
Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako are funded through the Government’s $359 million Investing in Educational Success initiative which is aimed at lifting student achievement as well as offering new career opportunities for teachers and principals.
The Know Your CoL tool is available on the Ministry of Education’s Education Counts website.
More information about Communities of Learning can be found here.
New Communities of Learning
Name of CoL
Number of schools / ECE / Tertiary
Number of students
Hokianga Community of Learning
Farm Cove Community of Learning
Mt Albert Community of Learning
Otāhuhu Community of Learning
Papakura Kōtuitui Community of Learning
Tuakau Community of Learning
Waiorea Community of Learning
Coromandel Community of Learning
Ngāruawāhia Community of Learning
Waikato/Bay of Plenty Christian Non-Denominational Community of Learning
Hawkes Bay – Tairāwhiti
Hastings East Community of Learning
Hastings West Community of Learning
Ruahine Community of Learning
Te Angi Angi Community of Learning
Te Kāhui Ako o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Porou
Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu
Central New Plymouth Community of Learning
Lower North Island Christian Schools Community of Learning
Palmerston North City and Rural Schools Community of Learning One
Palmerston North City and Rural Schools Community of Learning Two
South Taranaki – Hawera Community of Learning
South Taranaki – Patea Community of Learning
Taihape Community of Learning
Te Hononga Kāhui Kura – Kāhui Ako
Capital City Community of Learning
Wellington East Faith Based Community of Learning
Christchurch Christian Community of Learning
North Timaru Community of Learning
Ōtākaro Community of Learning
Riccarton Community of Learning
South Christchurch Community of Learning
South Timaru Community of Learning
Tokomairiro Community of Learning
*As some schools are joining more than one new CoL, school totals will not add up down the table
Education Minister Hekia Parata today welcomed the completion of the project to provide schools with fast, uncapped, Crown-funded internet.
“A total of 2431 schools are now connected to the $211 million N4L Managed Network, says Ms Parata.
“This is about providing schools and students across New Zealand with access to the vast world of learning resources available online.”
With the rollout completed, more than 789,000 students and teachers are using the N4L Managed Network for learning.
“This was a very successful project given it involved a large-scale rollout that was completed ahead of schedule and within budget,” says Ms Parata.
“I’d like to acknowledge the N4L team who embraced the project with passion and commitment, and were very responsive to the needs of individual schools.
“Young people today are globally connected like never before, and it’s important we equip them to become confident, connected, lifelong learners.”
N4L’s focus will now turn to enhancing services and developing new platforms to help schools make the most of their digital connections.
A funding increase for the Wireless School Network Upgrade Project (WSNUP) will see $1 million provided towards retrofitting wireless technology at 34 state-integrated schools, Education Minister Hekia Parata announced today.
“This is about schools having the digital infrastructure they need to make the most of online resources for learning,” says Ms Parata.
In 2014, WSNUP was set up to retrofit wireless technology to schools that had not received wireless as part of the School Network Upgrade Project (SNUP).
SNUP was a $280 million project, completed earlier this year, to upgrade core IT infrastructure such as switches and cabling.
“Today’s announcement comes on top of $8 million announced in April to help retrofit wireless technology to almost 400 state schools around New Zealand,” says Ms Parata.
“The additional $1 million funding for state-integrated schools takes the total number of schools benefitting from the WSNUP project to around 850.
“Through this multi-million dollar investment, we’re enabling students to have access to the online world for learning, no matter where they go to school.”
“I am encouraged by the latest TIMSS results and I want to congratulate students, parents, teachers and schools for their hard work. I want to also make special mention of the Year 5 science students, who were the stand-out achievers for taking their score from 497 to 506,” Ms Parata says.
TIMSS shows that all other average scores have not only stabilised, but increased from the previous cycle. Year 9 girls markedly improved their scores, while Year 5 and Year 9 maths students scored 491 and 493 respectively. This result sits comfortably above the intermediate international benchmark of 475 and is climbing towards the high benchmark.
The report highlights that there is still more work to do to lift the achievement levels of Maori and Pasifika students which are still, on average, not as strong as their classmates.
“Although the gap between our top performers and our lowest has closed significantly in recent years, it is still too wide,” Ms Parata says.
“Next year, for the first time, our Government is targeting operational funding to students most at risk of educational underachievement as part of our investment to address this gap.”
TIMSS also reinforced the confident and positive attitude many children have towards schooling. Ninety per cent of Year 5 students reported they feel positive about school, teachers and their classmates. This was in-light of 60 per cent of those same students reporting that they had experienced some form of bullying behaviour monthly or more.
“The longstanding issue of bullying remains an ugly and unwanted presence in our schools, but I am optimistic for the future. There’s been a lot of work since TIMSS conducted its survey in 2014 to address bullying in schools. For example, new guidelines on cyberbullying have been made available to all schools, while the Harmful Digital Communications Act also came into force in 2015,” Ms Parata says.
“In 2017 the cross-sector Bullying Prevention Advisory Group will release a Bullying-free New Zealand School Toolkit, following on from its 2016 launch of a new bullying prevention website for schools and their communities, www.bullyingfree.nz.
“TIMSS has highlighted areas we are working hard to improve, but I am pleased it has reflected some of the hard work being done in other important areas of education”.
Highlights include student access to digital technologies being the highest out of all the TIMSS countries. Furthermore, the push to get more children into early childhood education is reaping gains with results showing that Year 5 students who had attended ECE for more than a year had higher levels of achievement.
“We are very close to hitting our Better Public Service Target of 98 per cent of our youngest learners engaging in ECE, and the data shows how important this is for future achievement”, Ms Parata says. Note to editors TIMSS is an international comparative study of student achievement. It is conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), an independent international co-operative of national research institutions and government agencies. Fifty-five countries participated in TIMSS 2015.
Education Minister Hekia Parata travelled to Kaikoura today to see first-hand the incredible efforts being made to reopen the region’s schools after the deadly 7.8 earthquake.
“I am grateful to everyone who has played a part in ensuring we could get children and young people back to school as safely and quickly as possible. I am also pleased to see how the schools came through the initial November 14 earthquake as well as the continual aftershocks,” Ms Parata says.
“The resilience this community has shown is inspiring. I’m glad that with schools reopening it will help return a small sense of normality back into life in this beautiful part of the country.”
Building repairs have been completed and water and sanitation services put in place, to allow students to safely return to Kaikoura High, Kaikoura Primary, Lynton Downs and Saint Joseph’s Schools. Hapuku and Kaikoura Suburban are waiting for materials and equipment via the inland route and once arrived will quickly be able to open. Only Kaikoura High School will need further building works to reopen all of their buildings.
Kaikoura High School opened for NCEA exams last week. However, those students unable to travel to the school or who feel unable to sit the exams are eligible for derived grades.
Meanwhile in the nearby Hurunui District all of its 13 schools have reopened.
Education Minister Hekia Parata has today formally invited the Education and Science Select Committee to consider a change to the Education (Update) Amendment Bill to prohibit the use of seclusion in schools.
“Following my announcement earlier this month that I intended to invite the Select Committee to consider legislation that would prohibit seclusion in schools and early childhood education services, I have now written to the Chair with the proposed Supplementary Order Paper for the committee to consider,” says Ms Parata.
“While I have been advised that there are no schools now using seclusion, a law change is necessary to ensure that schools have a clear understanding that seclusion is no longer an acceptable practice for managing challenging behaviour.”
The proposed Supplementary Order Paper will also regulate the appropriate use of physical restraint, with a focus on staff and student safety and wellbeing.
The Ministry of Education recently completed a survey on the use of seclusion in schools and has worked intensively with a very small proportion to change their practice. The Ministry is aware of 17 out of a total of 2529 schools that used seclusion in 2016 – all have now stopped.
“The vast majority of schools already have good practices in place for managing behaviour in a safe and inclusive way. As a result of the action we have taken, a small proportion that were still using seclusion have ceased the practice and are now being supported to use better techniques to manage some very extreme and challenging behaviour of a small number of students,” says Ms Parata.
“I’m pleased that schools have responded quickly to the issuing of new guidance on managing challenging behaviour and the advice that seclusion is no longer an acceptable practice.
“The Ministry will be doing further work with schools to ensure that they have a good understanding of other behaviour management tools in place to de-escalate challenging behaviour and keep all students and staff safe.
“The Education Review Office has also made changes to its reviews of schools in light of the new guidance. It now specifically asks schools how they are managing children with behavioural difficulties.
“Any parent who continues to have concerns should contact the Ministry.”
Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the opening of the third round of bids for the $18 million Teacher-led Innovation Fund (TLIF).
The TLIF supports and resources teachers to collaboratively explore new ways and ideas to improve learning outcomes.
“We know the quality of teaching has the single biggest in-school impact on learners and this fund is giving our excellent teachers the opportunity to investigate and then inspire best practice. This project is for the benefit of every child and young person in this country,” Ms Parata says.
The TLIF is part of the government’s $359 million Investing in Educational Success initiative.
“This fund supports teachers to develop excellent practice and share what works across schools so that it becomes common practice,” Ms Parata says.
The TLIF has funded 86 teacher-led inquiry projects over the last two years and is available until 2020. Funding criteria have a particular focus on improving learning outcomes for children and young people who are Māori, Pasifika, have additional learning support needs and/or come from low socio-economic backgrounds.
“Research shows that teaching and learning improve when education providers work with each other, and with their community. So I encourage more teachers working in Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako to collaboratively develop TLIF project proposals this time around.” Minister Parata says.
Applications for the third round close on 16 March 2017 with projects starting in July 2017. Teachers can find resources to help them plan TLIF projects, and apply via the Ministry of Education website.
A single point of access will be piloted to schools and families who need to access learning support for their children, Education Minister Hekia Parata announced today.
Ms Parata made the announcement at the Special Education Principals Association New Zealand conference in Wellington, as part of a progress update on the Learning Support (formerly Special Education) Update.
“We will pilot a new service delivery model in the Waiariki/Bay of Plenty region that will provide for a single point of access to liaise with families and schools, through an 0800 number, email or online tool, and help them get the support they need promptly,” says Ms Parata.
“Too many families are finding the current system of learning support too complicated and we want to make it easier for them and their schools to access the support they need, when they need it.”
Other key features of the new service delivery model are:Local learning support teams to triage and integrate flexible, tailored and dedicated solutions for students Learning support plans detailing actions, resources and goals using a collaborative process. Plans will evolve and move with the child A Lead Practitioner to ensure learning support plans are delivered, monitored and reviewed as needed The collection of individual student data related to learning support and achievement to ensure a child-centred view of effectiveness.
“Support will be delivered through a mix of public, private and non-government organisation providers within the current funding. All students currently receiving support will continue to receive support based on their assessed needs. All new applications for learning support for students in the Waiariki/Bay of Plenty region will be part of the pilot,” says Ms Parata.
“The Ministry of Education will work with the sector and stakeholders to develop the changes and pilot the new approach in the Waiariki/Bay of Plenty region from the start of the 2017 school year. The focus of the pilot is to test, measure and evaluate the changes to inform national implementation decisions later on in 2017.
“Our intention is a world-class inclusive education system that places progress and success for every child and young person at the heart of teaching and learning.”
More information can be found here.
Tena koutou katoa. Welcome. It’s great to be here with so many people who are working hard to give Kiwi kids the best possible education.
Four years ago, I established the National Cross Sector Forum as a way for key stakeholders to get together and talk about the most important issues in education. I value this forum as a vehicle for me, as Education Minister, to be able to update you on the education work programme, to get your feedback and advice, and for you to interact with the government’s education agencies.
My aim has long been to develop a modern New Zealand education system which places children and young people at the centre of our efforts, and a lot of work is being done to turn that into a reality.
Shortly I’ll explain how the foundations have been laid to ensure a brighter future for our children and younger people, but first it’s important to understand why we need change.
When we came into Government eight years ago the bar was set far too low. Participation in early learning needed to improve. Students were leaving school too early and without the qualifications they needed to be successful.
Achievement rates were very average at 68 per cent, and pretty dismal for Maori and Pasifika. Less than 45 per cent of Maori students were achieving NCEA Level 2. Pasifika students weren’t faring much better.
But today there is genuine reason to be optimistic. For starters, eight years on, children are starting earlier, staying at school longer and leaving with better qualifications.
Overall, more than 38,000 more young people have achieved NCEA Level 2 than if achievement had remained at the level it was in 2008. There has been significant improvement for every population group.
83.3 per cent of our 18 year olds are getting NCEA Level 2. More than 71 per cent of Maori 18 year olds, and over 77 per cent of Pasifika 18 year olds are attaining the qualification.
That is real progress. We know through research and just plain common sense that this means that they will have better opportunities and brighter futures. And it’s thanks to teachers, parents and the students themselves.
But we can’t stop there, pat ourselves on the back and relax.
We now have results, rich data and a strong foundation from which to shift and lift the education system levers to better support our early childhood educators, school teachers and principals to make a sustainable difference.
We need to lift achievement even higher, make sure the changing needs of children and young people are firmly at the centre of everything we do and future-proof for the unknowns of the 21st century.
A major piece of the education work programme that seeks to achieve these things is the funding review.
I think we can all agree that the current education funding system is not as effective as it could be for raising the achievement of every student.
There are those who argue that the answer is to throw a whole lot more money into our education system and that’ll fix it! Well, we have.
This year’s Budget saw Vote Education increase to more than $11 billion for the first time. That is more than we will be spending on police, defence, transport, conservation and foreign affairs combined. We’ve increased funding by more than 32 per cent in schooling and over 100 per cent in early childhood education since 2007/08.
Every extra dollar we spend on education is a dollar less available for health, police, welfare and housing. Education is critical to New Zealand’s future, but there are other priority areas as well.
So firstly, we don’t have an inexhaustible amount of money to pour into the system.
Secondly, we know from evidence that simply increasing how much we spend on education does not automatically result in a lift in achievement. It is the quality of the investment that makes the difference, not the quantity.
We are undertaking a review of the education funding system to make sure that the $11 billion we invest in the system is being spent in the most effective and impactful way for the achievement of children and young people.
Every child is unique and has different needs, which means that every school has different challenges.
Principals and Boards know the learning needs of their students better than the Ministry. So we want a funding system that will give them the flexibility to use funding in ways that will best meet the needs of every kid in their school.
We also want to maintain diversity of choice for parents and their kids by supporting a variety of school options, from state to state-integrated to Maori medium to independent.
Most of all, we want to make sure that funding supports kids to progress and achieve at each year level.
Current funding systems for early learning and schooling have developed incrementally over time, and while some changes have made things fairer, the changes have also made the funding systems more complex and difficult to see as a coherent whole.
I am seeking to develop a funding system that makes the specific needs, progression and achievement of children and young people the currency in education.
The intention is to ensure that each child makes at least a year’s worth of progress against the curriculum. This requires a funding system tailored per-child and young person to the learning expectations at each stage of Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Curriculum, and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.
Overall, my objective is to develop a funding system that directs resources to the size of the education challenge that early childhood services, schools and Communities of Learning face.
We need a funding system that better supports children and young people at most risk of educational underachievement and where learning support is better targeted to children’s needs.
I also intend to develop a stronger line of sight between funding and children’s progress. That will enable us to invest more effectively in the learning of children and young people and be clearer about the impacts of those investments over time.
This will result in a funding system which would allow parents to be confident that the investment made in learning is working to best effect to ensure that their child makes at least a year’s worth of progress every year.
This will make us more accountable to the tax-payer for every dollar we invest and allow for a stronger argument to be made for increasing the level of funding.
You’ll all be aware that we have recently completed the first phase of the funding review, which was to explore seven elements for change to the system with the sector, and an Advisory Group.
The Ministry of Education and I took the unusual step of inviting sector leaders to be involved in discussions as part of an Advisory Group before the policy development stage of the process.
This was only the second time sector leaders had been involved at such an early stage, which reflects the significance of the review and the Government’s eagerness to work constructively with the sector and get valuable feedback.
I recently reported to Cabinet on the first phase of the review and decisions have been made on the proposals to take forward for further work. The proposals are:Determining what’s needed to achieve, and then deliver, a year’s learning progress for all learners, in every year of their education Looking at funding each child in early childhood education, rather than the placed-based approach we have now Determining the best ways to target funding for disadvantage to learners most at risk of underachievement, based on a risk index which is calculated from government agencies’ data; and testing better approaches for learning support to students with additional physical, intellectual, or behavioural learning needs Defining the criteria for small and isolated schools and early childhood services and considering the role Communities of Learning| Kāhui Ako can play in mitigating the impacts of size and isolation Considering a new funding formula for independent schools, possibly set at a fixed proportion of the per-child funding amount for state and state-integrated schools Looking into changing the arrangements for property maintenance and utilities, to give greater assurance that school property is appropriately maintained and to secure greater efficiencies in utilities expenditure Strengthening the line of sight between the investment Government makes in education with the outcomes achieved by children and young people.
Feedback from around 90 meetings the Ministry had with the sector and from the Advisory Group indicated that the sector is not ready for the level of flexibility and accountability that comes with a global budget payment mechanism.
I have therefore recommended, and Cabinet has agreed, that the global budget payment mechanism not proceed. The proposal was an option for better delivery of funding, not determining the level of funding so this decision will not affect the core purpose of the review.
As a first step, a number of topic-specific technical reference groups are being established to provide support in the more detailed design of the proposals being taken forward for further work.
People on these groups will have expertise and experience in curriculum design and delivery and in the measurement of educational progress, as well as wider sector and educational expertise.
The groups include ones on:Curriculum-based progress – to advise on what it takes for children and young people to achieve a year’s worth of progress across the curriculum and input into the move to child-based funding in early learning Dealing with disadvantage – to input on the best ways to target funding for learners most at risk of underachievement Small and isolated – to test the approach to defining small and isolated early childhood services and schools, as well as how Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako can mitigate the impacts of school size and isolation Property – to input on how property maintenance funding could be more efficiently spent to meet the interests of students and staff Using data to improve outcomes – strengthening the line of sight between the investment Government makes in education with the outcomes achieved by children and young people.
These groups will start meeting from November.
Work on considering how best to allocate funding to support children and young people needing learning support and on determining a new funding formula for independent schools will be worked through in separate processes. For further work on the independent schools proposal, we first need to complete work in the other proposals first.
I have an open door for those who want to be constructive and understand that working together does not mean that one party does exactly as the other demands; it involves mature discussions, cooperation and respect. I will work with anyone who will focus on creating solutions, and who has the interests of children and young people front and centre.
With that in mind, I will meet regularly with a Ministerial Advisory Group to discuss the work of the reference groups and the proposed new funding components.
The work we are all doing to redesign our education funding system is easily the most comprehensive ever undertaken. It will be challenging and some elements will be easier than others.
I am confident that, with your help, we can have an improved funding system that is more focused on ensuring the progress and achievement of all young New Zealanders in place by 2020.
We owe it to children and young people to get this right. It’s in all of our interests – they are the future teachers, doctors, tradies, entrepreneurs and Prime Ministers of our country.
Thank you for the work you do to provide our kids with a brighter future and I look forward to your involvement in the next steps of the funding review.