Annual Report 2016 - Part one
Section 19B reports
The Vote Education Section 19B Report in Relation to Non-Departmental Appropriations for the year ended 30 June 2016 was presented to the House in accordance with section 19B of the Public Finance Act 1989 on 20 October 2016.
Parts 2 and 3 of the Annual Report 2016
Download the full Annual Report 2016 to view:
- Part 2 — Statements of service Performance
- Part 3 — Annual financial statements.
Amendment to the report
Since being tabled, the Statement of Cash Flows has been amended for a minor editorial error.
Effective stewardship of the education system
The Ministry of Education is the lead advisor to the Government on education – early childhood education, primary and secondary education and tertiary education. We are also the steward of the education system. Stewardship in this context means two key things:
- a focus on the long-term health and performance of the education system as a whole, and
- the provision of support to enable sector leaders to raise achievement, where needed.
Our stewardship priorities outline the ongoing support and services we provide to maintain the education system, and grow achievement and engagement across the system.
We use international engagement to inform and benchmark our system in comparison with other high-performing education systems globally, and to showcase aspects of New Zealand best practice in education internationally.
Achieving more through effective collaboration
Government education agencies working collaboratively to maximise results
During 2015/16, a group of seven education agencies worked together with the State Services Commission to develop a 10-year vision and four-year excellence horizon for a learner-centric system using a Performance Improvement Framework approach.
Following this shared vision and planning process, we have committed to jointly addressing the key areas where we see the most need for, and the most potential impact of, a collaborative approach.
- We will jointly power up learners, parents, communities and employers to influence the quality of teaching and learning and lift achievement.
- We will also improve our information management and technology providing the evidence, data and knowledge to allow these groups, education professionals and government agencies to make the best possible decisions.
The education system agencies working together on these priorities are: the Ministry of Education, Careers New Zealand, the TEC, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, the Education Review Office, Education New Zealand and the Education Council.
Through the Education System Stewardship Forum, these seven agencies and Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu – the Correspondence School and the Network for Learning have regular dialogue identifying opportunities to improve system performance through better collaboration.
A key initiative has been developing the digital strategy which is focused on delivering a digitally-enabled education system that puts learners at the centre of our thinking.
Along with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, as the monitoring agencies for Education New Zealand, we have also actively engaged in their Performance Improvement Framework review, which was released in April 2016. As a follow-up to the review, we are helping Education New Zealand to develop its leadership role and ensure the government agencies working in the international education space are well connected. This involves using the new Chief Executives Board for International Education to develop a cross-agency strategy and coordinated work programme, supported by a more forward- focused Senior Officials Group, and capability support for Education New Zealand.
Collaborating with others to progress shared goals
For the most vulnerable families, ECE and schooling needs to be part of a coordinated package of support, alongside health and other social and community services, to ensure their children and young people can thrive and achieve. Well-targeted, early support is a sound investment with good social and economic returns.
Along with the Ministries of Health, Social Development and Justice, and the New Zealand Police, we have supported the Social Sector Trials in 16 communities around New Zealand. These are testing an alternative approach to social service delivery where communities influence how cross-agency resources are used to deliver more collaborative, directed and effective social services. We also contributed to the implementation of 10 Children’s Teams, including the establishment of six new teams. These teams bring together professionals from health, education, welfare and social service agencies to work through a single integrated plan with each vulnerable child and their family.
We worked with the Social Wellbeing Governance Group in Northland to develop a proposal for one of three place-based initiatives for consideration by Cabinet. The initiative will see improvements in outcomes for an estimated 6,000 children and young people and their whānau at most risk of poor outcomes in the region over the next 5 years. The initiative is a collaborative approach across social sector agencies in the region and takes a social investment lens by using data and local knowledge to better target resources.
During 2015/16, we consulted with staff across the organisation on our Child Protection Policy (CPP) to seek their input into how we can better support children who are at risk of abuse and neglect. This is particularly an issue for our front-line staff. Our CPP goes beyond the minimum requirements set out in the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 and also sets out how we will build a culture of child protection within the Ministry. As required by the Act, our contracts require suppliers who deliver children’s services to also develop a CPP.
We have also been involved in looking at the implication for the Ministry and the sector of the creation of the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki. We are supporting the development of the new operating model for Oranga Tamariki, which will further improve outcomes for our most vulnerable children and young people.
We continue to contribute to a number of other cross-government plans/initiatives to support children and young people:
- the Youth Crime Action Plan 2013-2023 which aims to reduce crime by children and young people and help those who offend to turn their lives around
- providing education officers in some Youth and Rangatahi Courts, which can help decrease the risks of re-offending
- Enabling Good Lives demonstration projects, providing a new approach to disability support.
Providing better advice to government
Our role as steward of the education system places a premium on policy analysis and advice that supports the long-term health and performance of the whole system, not just of its individual parts. We are taking a more evidence-driven, end-to-end, approach to policy design. To set ourselves progressively more ambitious goals for our policy advice, we have increased our target measure for this year.
We are currently in the process of, or have undertaken, a number of activities to build policy capability, including:
- convening a Policy Governance Board to provide senior-level oversight of major strategic policy projects
- building a robust process for quality assuring our highest profile pieces of advice, including convening a Quality Assurance Panel with members from across the Ministry and trialling a new internal method to assess the quality of our policy advice
- developing a Policy Community rotation programme in consultation with staff
- building shared understanding of talent and performance standards across the Policy Community
- delivering a monthly seminar series which invites international policy and education experts to discuss new, challenging ideas with our Policy Community
- developing a new Policy Toolkit and Cultural Competency Toolkit in consultation with internal and external policy experts.
We survey our Ministers annually on their satisfaction with the service we provide and for 2015/16 they have assessed us as 7 and 8 out of 10.
Significant service delivery for the education system is undertaken through a series of Crown entities, for which we have a monitoring and stewardship role. Our Ministers have indicated their satisfaction with our monitoring role, rating us as 7 and 9 out of 10.
Public perception of our performance has been maintained, with a February 2016 UMR Research survey reporting a 1% improvement in excellent/good ratings, following a 9% increase from 2013 to 2015.8
We supported the establishment of a Productivity Commission inquiry into new models of tertiary education. It is investigating how trends in technology, internationalisation, population, costs and demand for skills may drive changes in models of tertiary education. It is an important opportunity to bring in fresh perspectives and analysis, and new responses to emerging and enduring issues and opportunities. We are continuing to support the inquiry as it runs through 2016, with a final report due in February 2017.
8 UMR Research, Annual Review: Mood of the Nation, February 2016.
Using and sharing data and evidence to improve decision-making
Properly collected, interpreted and applied data can provide insights about how well students are achieving, and how they can be supported to do better.
During 2015/16, we have improved our evidence base by implementing the Early Learning Information (ELI) system to all eligible services and assigning National Student Numbers to children enrolled in early learning education. This enables us to collect participation information at an individual child level in ECE. This can be used to follow the educational journey of children through ECE to school and further education, and to better assess the impact of ECE. ELI also allows us to identify where additional support is needed to increase participation.
A business case was approved by Cabinet in March 2016 to replace the Ministry’s 25-year-old Education Management Information System, which determines and delivers funding and staffing entitlements to ECE services and schools.
We spend over $6.95 billion a year, directly allocated to ECE services and schools, in the form of funding grants and school staffing entitlements. Timely and accurate determination and payment is a critical support to the day-to-day operation of more than 5,000 ECE services and over 2,500 schools. A procurement process is underway to select an information technology vendor with plans for a phased implementation in the ECE and schools sectors set for 2018-20.
We have provided support for teachers to implement and improve consistency of overall teachers’ judgements on National Standards. The Progress and Consistency Tool helps to give teachers the confidence that their interim and end-of-year judgements are based on valid information, consistent with those being made by other teachers and also with their previous judgements. As at August 2016, 462 schools had signed up to use the tool and a further 337 schools had expressed interest in using it. The numbers of schools using the tool is increasing day by day and we continue to support schools in understanding what the tool can do.
During 2015/16, we progressed the Tertiary Information Enhancement project, confirming the business requirements, establishing the infrastructure environment and data warehouses structures. The project should resolve the problems of accessibility and consistency of tertiary information. Time, effort and risk will be reduced while establishing greater levels of trust and opportunities for analysis. The project deployed its initial work package relating to organisations and is approximately a third of the way through the second work package – the single data return.
On 8 June 2016, the Office of the Auditor-General released the third audit report on Māori education Education for Māori: Using Information to Improve Māori Educational Success. The report’s findings highlight the importance of the effective use of data at a school and national level to effectively lift Māori achievement. We have taken steps to share the findings of the report with the sector. We have also accepted the recommendations and developed a plan to respond to the recommendations in the report.
We continue to participate in international projects providing comparative system performance information, including the OECD Indicators of National Education Systems (INES) programme, which produces the annual Education at a Glance indicators report. New Zealand is leading the development of several pieces of work on economic and social outcomes and we contributed a number of papers and presentations at recent meetings, and chaired a working group on education and social outcomes.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, we have published three initial reports on the data gathered in the Survey of Adult Skills, undertaken in New Zealand in 2014, which is part of the OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). This data will be used to inform policy on adult skills development, including the use of skills in employment.
To support the public sector implementation of the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) initiative we reviewed any policy implications for providers in the education system and are investigating what would be needed to add the NZBN to our information system for provider records.
Providing tailored services and support to raise achievement
A key task for the Ministry, with other education agencies, is to ensure our education system meets the learning needs of all New Zealanders based on their culture and identity.
Most learners are in English language settings, but the system enables learning in Māori-medium, Pasifika language or bilingual settings that recognise and build on children’s identity, language and culture.
Supporting te reo Māori in education
We continued to invest in the education system to provide increased access to high-quality te reo teaching and learning, and in particular in the Māori-medium education pathway, through:
- partnering with iwi and national Māori groups to develop initiatives to support education success for Māori
- developing 179 new NCEA achievement standards derived from Te Marautanga o Aotearoa to help strengthen New Zealand’s standing as a bicultural nation by explicitly acknowledging Māori worldviews, knowledge and values
- strengthening the quality of teaching through the provision of various initial teacher education and PLD initiatives, such as Building on Success delivering PLD to 103 secondary schools and about 6,200 teachers covering about 22,000 Māori students
- working collaboratively with Te Ataarangi Incorporated Limited to support intergenerational transmission of te Reo through a Kura Whānau Reo programme (jointly funded with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori), to enable whānau to participate fully in their child’s education
- developing dictionaries to ensure there is language and corpus support for all wāhanga ako of Te Mārautanga o Aotearoa
- commissioning research to investigate whether the NCEA Te Reo Māori and Te Reo Rangatira tools are fit for purpose.
We have also appointed a Chief Advisor Te Ao Māori to provide advice and leadership for our initiatives to accelerate Māori educational achievement as Māori.
Supporting Pasifika languages and culture in education
With 15 centres and over 314 children enrolled, the Achieving Through Pasifika Cultures and Languages programme supports schools and community groups to establish and operate centres that promote achievement for Pasifika learners in Years 1 to 8 (ages 5 to 12) through fostering Pasifika culture and languages.
We provide a range of materials to support the teaching of Pasifika languages, including teaching guidelines for Cook Islands Māori, vagahau Niue, Tongan, gagana Tokelau, and revised language guidelines for gagana Sāmoa. We also provide multimedia resources in the Learning Language Series to support the guidelines and storybooks.
Investing more effectively to raise achievement
Our stewardship role requires us to focus on the long-term sustainability of the education system. Through advice to Ministers on the Budget process and funding for Vote Education and Vote Tertiary Education, we have been seeking to ensure resources are directed where they can make the most difference. We are committed to providing policy advice to support the targeting of investment through:
- the better use of existing funding to manage the cost pressures of current and new educational initiatives
- better managing the Ministry’s property portfolio, including meeting demand pressure in Auckland and the costs of the Christchurch rebuild
- designing a more student-centred education system
- providing additional learning support for those students who need it.
The Ministry is one of the agencies that is required to develop a Long Term Investment Plan for a period of at least 10 financial years and participate in Treasury reporting on asset management performance indicators. We have also contributed to the Government’s 0 to 5 and Youth Funding reviews and associated Budget 2016 advice.
We have also continued to refine our approach to forecasting future demand for tertiary education, which has been crucial for understanding the relationship between future demand and funding at a national level.
We used the New Zealand Benchmarking Tool to analyse the costs of delivery in tertiary education and establish where there are imbalances between funding and costs as a basis for our advice to Ministers on tuition subsidies.