Reduction in school staffing ratios for Years 4 to 8

The Government is providing an additional $106 million, over five years, to primary and intermediate schools. The additional funding will enable these schools to reduce staffing ratios in Years 4 to 8.

Schools are responsible for their own staffing decisions and may use the additional entitlement in different ways. But reducing staffing ratios in Years 4 to 8 will result in a range of positive outcomes for learners.

The new funding will enable schools to reduce teacher pupil ratios in Years 4 to 8 from 1 teacher to 29 ākonga, to 1 teacher to 28 ākonga, from the beginning of 2025. This reduction will be phased in over two years.

The reduction will require the equivalent of around 324 more full time teachers across New Zealand’s primary and intermediate schools. It is intended that half of these teachers will be in schools by the beginning of 2024.

The reduction is part of the Government’s plans to improve outcomes for students in Years 4 to 8, especially in maths and literacy achievement and to reduce teacher workload. Evidence shows that Years 4 to 8 are critical to good maths and literacy outcomes.

Alongside the Government’s reduction in class sizes, a Ministerial Advisory Group will also be set up to look at class sizes over the longer term. It will review and provide advice on:

  • teaching and learning needs
  • leadership, management, and administrative needs
  • workforce needs to deliver support across the spectrum of learning support need, and particularly to respond to those who do not receive specialist support
  • leadership and teaching needs to manage and support successful transitions from early learning to school
  • teaching, learning and mentoring needs to manage and support through the secondary-tertiary-employment pathway.

The group will be made up of experts from the education sector who understand how schools work, including school funding mechanisms and the staffing entitlement part of the school resourcing system.

More information on curriculum staffing is available here: Entitlement staffing – Education in New Zealand(external link)

An equivalent package for Kaupapa Māori Kura and other settings, where ratios of 1:18 are already in place for years 2 – 8 will also be put in place. The Ministry of Education will work with Kaupapa Māori representatives on this. 

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