The role of the Ministry of Education

We're the Government’s lead advisor on New Zealand's education system. We shape direction for education agencies and providers, and contribute to the Government’s goals for education.

Our purpose

We shape an education system that delivers equitable and excellent outcomes.

Ko tō mātou whare mātauranga, he rangatira, he mana taurite ōna huanga.

Te Mahau

Te Mahau is part of the Ministry of Education. It was established in 2021 in response to the review of Tomorrow’s Schools. The review made it clear that we need more responsive, accessible and local support for our early learning services, schools and kura.

Te Mahau includes:

  • our regional offices, organised into 3 frontline groups:
    • Te Tai Raro (North)
    • Te Tai Whenua (Central)
    • Te Tai Runga (South)
  • Te Poutāhū | The Curriculum Centre
  • Te Pae Aronui | Operations and Integration.

Te Mahau kaimahi |staff work alongside our early learning services, schools and kura daily. They provide services and support for their ākonga | students, whānau and communities – everything from curriculum leadership to learning support, teaching resources, service design and delivery.

Te Mahau means the ‘front porch of the whare’ and as its name suggests, it is accessible and visible.

Te Mahau website(external link)

Strategic leadership in the sector

We develop strategic policy for and deliver services to the education sector.

We undertake education research and analysis and monitor education sector capability and viability.

This involves coordination with other sector and government agencies and forums and some cross-sector work programmes.

Support and resources for the community

We deliver policies, programmes and services focused on improving the community's knowledge of and participation in the education system.

This involves working with parents, iwi, and Pasifika advisors and community groups to:

  • get greater participation in education
  • provide information to enable decisions to be made about education options
  • provide education programmes for stakeholders to support the education system.

Support and resources for education providers

We make sure that education providers have the resources and support they need to deliver services to students. We:

  • administer a range of legislative and regulatory controls
  • determine and deliver funding and other resources
  • provide services that support the governance, management and operation of education providers
  • monitor and intervene in providers that are at risk in relation to financial viability, student achievement and participation.

School property portfolio management

We have responsibility for all education property owned by the Crown. We:

  • manage the existing property portfolio
  • upgrade and improve the portfolio
  • purchase and construct new property to meet increased demand
  • identify and dispose of surplus State school sector property
  • manage teacher and caretaker housing.

Support and resources for teachers

We support teachers' and principals' professional leadership, learning and teaching. We develop national guidelines and provide:

  • curriculum statements and achievement standards
  • resources to support teaching, learning and assessment and professional leadership
  • professional development programmes, scholarships and awards.

The Ministry also administers the teachers' payroll.

Interventions for target student groups

We deliver policies, resources and services focused on targeted students groups' or individuals' participation in education. We deliver:

  • targeted interventions
  • specialist support services
  • funding and other resources, and
  • special education services to children and young people with special learning and developmental needs.

Strategic leadership in the tertiary system

We deliver policies and services focused on our leadership role in the tertiary sector. We:

  • develop strategic policy for the tertiary sector and international education
  • undertake relevant research and analysis
  • monitor the performance and capacity of Crown entities.

We also represent the education sector internationally.

Crown entities

We monitor 3 Crown entities on behalf of the Minister of Education:

  • Education New Zealand
  • New Zealand Qualifications Authority
  • Tertiary Education Commission.

Crown entity monitoring

We also manage the process of appointments to a number of Crown entities, statutory boards and advisory groups on behalf of the responsible Ministers.

Crown entity and other statutory board appointments

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