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.
Effective stewardship of the education system
We are the lead advisor to the Government on education, from early childhood education to tertiary education. We are also the steward of the education system. This means we must focus on the long term health and performance of the whole system, and provide support to enable the sector to raise achievement.
Collaborating more effectively
Working with other education agencies
There are seven agencies responsible for different parts of the education sector. A shared vision and planning process during 2016, using a Performance Improvement Framework approach, generated the Blueprint for Education System Stewardship, which was released in September 2016. The priorities identified are now incorporated into agencies’ annual work programmes.
Education agencies are also working together to create a digitally enabled, connected education system that helps prepare all ages for the digital era. The Education System Digital Strategy, Transforming Education for the Digital Age, continues to drive a number of work programmes for the education system. It sets out a vision for a highly connected, interdependent education system that equips students with skills for the future, fosters their identity, language and culture, and prepares them to participate as successful citizens in the 21st century. Key achievements from the last year include:
- completing a programme business case and receiving initial funding for the Integrated Education Data (iEd) programme
- developing a proof of concept for and piloting the Schools Cloud programme to enable flexibility around the use of software applications such as Microsoft and Google office
- designing the new Education Resourcing System (which will replace EDUMIS).
Collaborating to progress shared goals
After consultation with staff, our Child Protection Policy has been finalised, implemented and is now available on Te Tāhuhu, our internal intranet. The purpose of this policy is to embed a culture of child protection that consistently safeguards and promotes the wellbeing of children. All staff have been made aware of the policy and are in the process of completing online training in relation to their obligations under the policy. As required by the Vulnerable Children Act 2014, all our contract templates have a placeholder to include suppliers adopting a child protection policy if it is relevant to the service they are providing.
We are also involved in the development of a new government-wide Vulnerable Children’s Plan. We are taking part in the development of an investment approach with the Ministry for Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki. This includes providing input to the framework and design of the valuation model, as well as relevant education data.
We are participating in the Direct Purchasing Demonstration, which is being implemented in the Bay of Plenty and Waitemata. Through this process recent assessments of 200 children and young people will be reviewed to ensure they are receiving the right services and, if not, whether the appropriate services can be purchased for them.
We continue to work with several other agencies, including the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and the Treasury, to provide data to support the implementation of regional economic development plans. The data will help determine which areas will need support such as further investment or innovation to support young people who are not in education, employment or training.
To increase student achievement, we work with other agencies using shared information to provide comprehensive assessments and a single plan of wraparound support for an individual child or young person.
During 2016/17 this included:
- provision of children’s teams, where staff provide information to support assessment, planning and intervention processes for the child or young person
- the Integrated Safety Response pilots, which ensure families experiencing violence get the help they need through provision of education assessments, attendance at planning and decision making meetings, and support and coordination with schools and early childhood education centres
- the Intensive Wraparound Service which involves working with around 330 students per year who have highly complex challenging behaviour across several settings.
Testing a place-based approach
In September 2016, the Government launched Kāinga Ora, a Place-Based Initiative in Northland. The Ministry of Education is the lead agency.
The initiative is led by a group of local leaders of government agencies and iwi representatives and aims to provide integrated responses for at-risk 0 to 24 year olds. Kāinga Ora partners with communities to co-design responses for at-risk groups to ensure we invest in what will best support them and the Northland community, and be self-sustainable over time. Setting up the initiative, and recruitment of appropriately skilled staff for the associated executive office, took longer than was anticipated.
This delayed progress on initial milestones. The initiative initially focused on undertaking 90 safety assessments for children and young people with the greatest number of risk factors and completing integrated service plans for 20 of the most complex cases. This proved challenging and has impacted on the ability to scale up quickly, while responding to the identified needs of those children and young people.
From July 2017 the focus will broaden to include those with a slightly lower level of vulnerability and adopt a more preventative approach in three target locations in Northland. This will also enable moving more rapidly to scale. The initiative is working with communities to align work with existing community plans and aspirations. Despite the delays, the building blocks are progressively being put in place to deliver integrated services to 570 children, young people and their whānau in 2017/18.
Using and sharing data and evidence to improve decision making
Data and evidence provide important insights into how well students are currently achieving and how we can support them to do better.
During 2016/17, we began to develop an Evidence Strategy to ensure our understanding of the performance of the education system is underpinned by data, research and evidence. This work resulted in a number of priorities, which will form part of our annual planning processes and inform longer term strategic thinking. A portfolio approach to setting priorities for our major research studies was also completed as part of this work.
In early 2017, we completed analysis to identify risk factors for non-participation and underachievement by young people in tertiary education at Level 4 or above. The next stage of this programme, due to be completed in November 2017, will identify the size and characteristics of those most at risk. This analysis will be used to inform our future policy advice on improving participation and achievement in the tertiary education system.
The Tertiary Information Enhancement project was completed in 2016/17 and is now being implemented. Access by the education agencies (the Tertiary Education Commission, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and Education New Zealand) to a central repository of tertiary education data is on track for the end of 2017. This data includes consistent, longitudinal data on tertiary education organisations and their students’ pathways and achievement.
The New Zealand results from the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) were released in June 2016. These results provide information on the literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills of adults aged 16 to 65. Overall, New Zealanders performed well compared to other OECD countries, particularly in problem solving. However, New Zealand youth (age 16 to 24) do not perform as well in these areas compared to young people in other countries. While results have improved for Māori and Pasifika compared with earlier surveys, their skills levels remain below the rest of the population on average. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation have an ongoing work programme to analyse the data from the survey. These results are informing policy and implementation, particularly in adult foundation education.
Providing better advice to government
Our role as steward of the education system means we need to provide quality policy analysis and advice that supports the whole system in the long term.
We have continued the development of our Graduate Policy Analyst programme. The programme is designed to identify, hire and develop a high quality group of graduates to grow talent within the organisation. The programme is now in its third year.
New Zealand is culturally diverse, and we need to value, reflect and understand our different communities. A joint Treasury and Ministry of Education series of Pasifika cultural workshops were developed and delivered to staff in 2016/17. The three workshops built the cultural competency and understanding of Pasifika cultures for staff within the policy community. As part of the workshops, participants applied a Pacific Analytical Framework tool to show how Pasifika cultural competency can be integrated into policy advice.
On behalf of the Minister of Education and the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, we monitor three Crown agencies – New Zealand Qualifications Authority, the Tertiary Education Commission and Education New Zealand.
We monitored Careers New Zealand up until its disestablishment, effective 1 July 2017. We also have a short term monitoring role over the Education Council, with a specific focus on its financial sustainability.
Over the last year, we have put in place changes to implement an integrated, transparent and collaborative monitoring approach. These changes include:
- having more proactive engagement with entities
- enhancing reporting, financial analysis and monitoring
- strengthening our quality assurance process.
Our revised approach has given us additional insights into areas of the entities’ business, including risk management and financial forecasting. We will continue to develop and embed this approach over the next year.
Improving how we target investment
As steward of the education system, we need to focus on the sustainability of the whole system.
During 2016/17, we focused on using and understanding data on disadvantage so that we can use our resources to the best effect in future. We have identified three risk factors which are strongly correlated with poor educational achievement and life outcomes for children later in their lives. They include whether a child has been notified to the Ministry for Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki, been stood down or suspended from school, and whether they have spent over 50% of their life in households supported by welfare.
In 2016/17, we also introduced the Targeted At Risk Grant which gave schools additional funding for each child who had spent significant proportions of their lives in benefit dependent households. Through our Budget 2017 advice, we continued to apply the social investment approach to education by extending this model to include early childhood.