Annual Report 2017 — Part one
Section 19B reports
The Vote Education and Vote Tertiary Education Section 19B Reports in Relation to Non-Departmental Appropriations for the year ended 30 June 2017 were presented to the House in accordance with section 19B of the Public Finance Act 1989.
Parts 2 and 3 of the Annual Report 2017
Download the full Annual Report 2017 to view:
- Part 2 — Our performance information
- Part 3 — Annual financial statements.
Building capability and managing responsibly
We are building our capability and better aligning our resources to help shape an education system that delivers equitable and excellent outcomes.
Providing strong leadership and clear strategic direction
During 2016, we updated the Ministry’s ‘Plan on a Page’ (see page 9) to include a set of objectives for the whole education system to:
- provide a clearer line of sight between work priorities and what we are seeking to achieve and how we measure progress
- work towards the Ministry’s new Investment Management Framework | Portfolio Approach and expectations for improved linkages between investment intentions and benefits.
We have incorporated the framework into our planning and reporting documents for 2017/18 and are progressively developing improved performance measures linked to these objectives.
Since joining the Ministry, the Secretary for Education has led a discussion about the core purpose of the Ministry. The aim was to better articulate our stewardship role and what we are seeking to achieve. We settled on this purpose statement: “We shape an education system that delivers equity and excellent outcomes”. We are now starting work on describing an operating model for the Ministry – setting out how we do things and what support we need to achieve our purpose.
During this year, we have updated our governance arrangements:
- with the leadership team having an extended monthly meeting to review organisational performance
- setting up an Investment and Finance Board to approve and monitor the delivery of investments.
There have also been several organisational changes in 2016/17 to enhance our capability and strengthen our strategic leadership:
- the Parent Information and Community Intelligence team was established to raise the awareness of parents and whānau about the importance of their engagement in their children’s learning, and to help the education system respond in ways that encourage that engagement
- we renamed Special Education to Learning Support, and reviewed our structure to improve integration and local delivery of services for learning support functions
- we reviewed the structure of the Early Learning and Student Achievement group to focus on the pathways of New Zealand children and young people from 0 to 18 years.
At 30 June 2017, we had 2,631.9 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff working from 37 locations around New Zealand. Of our workforce, 60% are based in the regions and 40% at our National Office in Wellington.
Our unplanned turnover remained higher than the public sector average in 2016/17, with 14.6% of staff leaving the Ministry (compared with the public sector average of 11.1%). We are implementing enhanced exit interview systems to better understand the reasons why people leave.
We completed a staff engagement survey in mid-2016. Our overall engagement score was 3.65 out of 5, which is consistent with our 2012 score of 3.64. The survey identified key areas we need to improve on, including ensuring there are clear expectations of our staff and empowering them to give their best every day. We are improving these areas through programmes of work focused on enhancing our work environment and developing our culture. To check our progress, we will run two Pulse Surveys in 2017 before running another full survey in 2018.
Capable and motivated staff
During 2016/17, we rolled out our People Strategy which supports the Ministry’s continued focus on building our capability.
Our key focus areas were:
- ongoing development of leadership and management capability
- enhancing our performance and remuneration systems
- improve workforce planning, right person, right role for the right period of time
- selecting and implementing a people based information system.
Our Leadership and Management Framework, Te Urunga pai, is now well developed. Throughout 2016/17, we continued to run our foundation leadership programmes as part of this framework. We have begun work to ensure our Leadership and Management Framework delivers leadership competencies that align with the outcomes set by the State Services Commission. We have a strong focus on talent management and support a Career Board across the Education Sector to help identify leaders and work with them to progress their careers. We also participate in state sector system talent programmes that enable people across the government system to find development opportunities.
We have also worked on enhancing Ministry-specific management tools and material as part of our efforts to facilitate talent development, which are being delivered online as part of induction.
We are updating our performance management and remuneration framework. We are seeking a consistent, transparent and inclusive approach across the Ministry, rather than the multiple frameworks that currently exist. In developing the new framework, we are seeking to modernise our approach, offer rewards and recognition that support the needs of our diverse workforce, and align with other government agencies to support the development of capability across government at all levels.
Growing a culture of diversity and inclusion
Public Service chief executives have made a commitment to a shared vision for diversity and inclusion in the State services. We have already made a start and will work progressively to widen and deepen our approach to diversity and inclusion.
During 2016/17, we developed our Diversity and Inclusion Framework and now have a programme of work underway to enable us to achieve its outcomes. We want our workforce to reflect, understand and value the communities we work in.
We are improving our human resources data so we can continue to develop our understanding of our workforce and monitor the outcomes of the initiatives we are implementing. During 2016/17, we have focused on understanding the drivers for our gender pay gap and we will focus over the next year on initiatives to close our gender and ethnicity pay gaps.
We are reviewing our diversity analytics to ensure that they will help monitor our progress as we implement our new Diversity and Inclusion Framework and programme of work.
We continue to support the development of and provide ongoing support to a range of staff networks. Our Māori and Pasifika networks have been in place for some time and our Women’s Network was launched in July 2017. These foster an inclusive environment and provide an engagement opportunity for staff across many offices.
We support staff to take action during focus weeks, for example, Mental Health Awareness week and Sign Language week. This year, we also introduced a wellness portal called the Wellbeing Hub, which provides a wide range of health and wellbeing options for all of our staff.
Supporting health and safety at work
Following implementation of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 2015/16, we have continued to support the health and safety
of our people. Within the Ministry significant progress on health and safety has been made in the following areas:
- worker representation, including holding the first National Forum for Health and Safety representatives from across the Ministry
- governance and leadership, with the establishment of a new Health, Safety and Security Leadership Team Sub-Committee
- raising health and safety knowledge and awareness across the Ministry, through online training modules for staff and managers.
Developing good financial and resource management
Putting in place strong governance, finance and planning systems, and controls has been a priority over the last 18 months. These changes have already been reflected in improved ratings for the Ministry’s ESCO (Environment, Systems and Controls) ratings. The 2016 audit assessment concluded that the Ministry had improved from:
- "Needs Improvement” to “Good” for systems to define, evaluate and manage the Ministry’s performance information
- “Needs Improvement” to “Good” for financial information systems and controls.
We continued to progress the Ministry’s Finance Transformation programme during 2016/17. The programme aims to reduce fiscal risk, improve financial management and better position core systems and processes to support our activities. Key achievements over the last year include:
- establishing an Investment Management Framework, which will support the Finance Investment Management Board
- enhancing our strategic financial planning capability which we are using to inform the financial information provided as part of the Four Year Plan 2016-2020
- launching the online financial reporting tool called the Performance Hub, which gives managers easy access to financial information to help them monitor their budget.
Improving our infrastructure
Supporting new ways of working
We have begun planning for our Ten-Year National Property Strategy. As part of this, we are working on a coordinated approach to improve our technology and building infrastructure as leases expire or come up for renewal. This year, it included relocating our Kaikohe office to Kerikeri and moving our Tauranga office to a new site. Both offices are in newly refurbished premises with new ways of working, including the provision of tablet devices and Skype for Business, consistent with our National Office.
Results from research in Wellington, Kerikeri and Tauranga once staff had moved into new accommodation were very positive. In particular, our people responded positively to improved security, new furniture settings and the introduction of new technology that makes it easier to securely access Ministry networks.
In April 2017, our Christchurch staff moved into the new Te Urutī building as part of the Christchurch Integrated Government Accommodation programme. The building is co-located with the Ministry of Health and enables our Christchurch staff to work in a completely new flexible working environment.
The November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake had only a small impact on our Wellington buildings, with the Mātauranga House closed for one working day and the Justice Centre for six working days following it. We temporarily housed 140 staff from Education Payroll Limited in Mātauranga House due to damage to their building from the earthquake, to ensure school employees continued to be paid on time.
Enhancing privacy and security
Over the past year, we supported robust privacy and security best practice within the Ministry. This has included standard operating procedures for things such as information security, and physical security processes and procedures. We have also updated our online resources to help our people understand their security and privacy responsibilities, and ensure they have easy access to the right tools, policies and procedures.
We completed a physical security review to ensure that the appropriate safeguards are in place to protect our staff, visitors and property. A work plan for the implementation of the recommendations has been developed and it is expected they will take effect in December 2017.
We have developed an ongoing work programme on protective security and privacy requirements which has delivered a number of improvements. This includes enhancements in governance, reporting and building staff capability.
Refreshing risk and assurance governance arrangements
The Risk and Assurance Board comprises four independent and highly experienced individuals, who meet up to eight times a year to review the Ministry’s operational risk management and control environment. They provide the Secretary with unbiased insights and risk advice from their discussion with senior management on assurance matters. A long standing member retired in 2016/17 and a new member was introduced to keep the Board fresh. The Board will be invited to engage with the Leadership Team quarterly on strategic risks.