Education Portfolio Work Programme 2021

Origins and Focus

In March 2021 the Cabinet agreed to the contents of the Education Work Programme (EWP) 2021 for this term of Government.
EWP 2021 affirms the Government’s objectives. Transforming the New Zealand education system into one that delivers excellent and fair outcomes for all our children and learners. EWP 2021 is based on the five education objectives set by Government in 2018 (see here for these). It builds on the priorities set for the Education Work Programme 2018 (see below), and on the progress made towards those priorities between 2018 and 2020.
The Education Work Programme 2021 has a strong focus on implementation and delivery, and on addressing systemic issues within the education system, such as falling levels of achievement in maths and science, poor and declining rates of attendance, and the high levels of bullying within the schooling system.
EWP 2021 Programme components
The main priority components of the EWP 2021, for this term of the current Government, are:

Table One: Education Work Programme 2021



Objective 1:

Learners at the Centre






The Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2030

The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029, with a focus on pay parity

Ka Hikitia – Ka Hāpaitia and Tau Mai Te Reo

Promoting safe and accepting school environments for Rainbow students to learn and thrive, including working with schools on providing gender neutral bathrooms for school students

An action plan to improve student attendance and engagement




Objective 2: Barrier free access



Initiatives to tackle barriers to educational success:

o      Expand Ka Ora, Ka Ako | Healthy School Lunch programme;

        o  Implement an Equity Index for schools and early learning services; and

        o  Improve digital access to help address the digital divide in schools

        o  Free period products in schools and kura

        The Learning Support Action Plan 2019-2025







Objective 3:

Quality teaching and leadership





Reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system:

  • A new Education Service Agency o A national Curriculum Centre
  • An independent mechanism for raising and resolving complaints, including supporting the use of restorative practice
  • A more visible support system for school leadership o Strengthening school governance
  • Strengthening the Māori medium education pathway
    • Ensuring school enrolment schemes are fair

Reforms of Curriculum, Progress and Achievement, and NCEA:

  • Refresh the national curriculum
  • Ensure that Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories are taught in all New Zealand schools and kura from 2022
  • Implement the NCEA Change Programme

Develop a literacy strategy and a mathematics (including numeracy) strategy

Continued work to attract and develop a strong, culturally competent education workforce that is capable, supported, valued and connected, including through changes to improve Initial Teacher Education





Objective 4:

Future of learning and work




The Reform of Vocational Education:

o           Establish Workforce Development Councils, and oversee the integration of Te Pukenga o                      Creating a framework and a plan for a unified funding system

The International Education Strategy and the International Education Recovery Plan

Strengthen youth transitions system

Modernise careers advice in schools

Reviewing the tertiary education funding system, including for degrees, to introduce a stronger focus on work-integrated learning across a broader range of disciplines

Expanding the Creatives in Schools programme



Objective 5:

World class inclusive public education






A strategic programme of investment in school property

The Review of the Performance-Based Research Fund

EWP 2021 components will be subject to Cabinet decisions over the next three or four budget cycles.

For more information go to Education Work Programme 2021 [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Education Work Programme 2018.

In 2018, the current Government outlined a three- year work Education Work Programme (EWP 2018) for its first term.

Purpose and objectives

You can find out more the purpose aims and objectives of EWP 2018 here:

Education Portfolio Work Programme: Purpose, Objectives and Overview(external link)

Main components

You can find about more about the main components of EWP 2018, and the progress made on each of them between 2018 and 2020.

Click on the link to go to Education Work Programme Overview(external link)



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