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.

Vote Education Section 19B Report 2016-2017 [PDF, 417 KB]

Vote Tertiary Education Section 19B Report 2016-2017 [PDF, 520 KB]

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.

Annual Report 2017 [PDF, 1.3 MB]

The education system is relevant and reaches all children and students

Our education system must meet the needs of our diverse population, be accessible and relevant to all, and flexible enough to accommodate different aspects and stages of children and young people’s lives.

  • Supporting high quality regulatory, funding and institutional arrangements
    • Regulatory, funding and institutional arrangements must be effective and support the educational achievement of all children and young people, and the outcomes of the education system.

      Supporting the development of Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

      Through Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako, we are working to get our early learning services, schools and tertiary institutions working together to lift education achievement for all children and young people.

      Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako help raise the quality of teaching and leadership through collaborative inquiry and the sharing of best practice across the education sector. Communities set shared achievement challenges to raise student performance based on the needs of each Community’s children and young people. Three new roles - Community Leader, Across Community of Learning Teacher, and Within School Teacher - have been created, and are appointed by communities, to work across and within schools to support and share effective school leadership and practice.

      According to a December 2016 report2, our Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako are “growing momentum”, showing “high levels of shared purpose and commitment”, and are “confident about their capacity to use student data to identify their achievement challenges.”

      Evaluation by the Ministry and sector partners has highlighted the need to continue to refine the policy, especially in relation to the scale of the change, supporting teachers and principals with their new responsibilities.

      We showcased tools and resources to support education leaders, teachers and board members through a series of Regional Cross Sector Forum Expos across all 10 education regions between April and June 2017. These were a follow up to a national forum held in Auckland in March 2017. The Expos were an opportunity for us to increase understanding across the country of what we are doing to support Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako. Seventy-eight percent of respondents reported that their overall experience of the Forum was relevant. A total of 74% said the Forum was useful and 77% learned something new that they would share with others.

      Updating the Education Act 1989

      The Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 became law on 19 May 2017. It is the most comprehensive update to New Zealand’s education legislation in almost 30 years.

      The Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 puts the achievement of children and young people at the heart of the education system. It does this by setting clear objectives for the early childhood and compulsory education system. It also introduces a new stand alone document called the statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP), through which the Government will set its education priorities.

      The Act also enhances the options for collaboration between education providers, and modernises our education system to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

      Key themes of the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017.

      See long description of the key theme sof the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017

      During 2016/17, the Act was introduced to Parliament, open for public submissions and referred to the Education and Science Select Committee. We provided support to these processes, and are now focusing on implementation of the updated Act. Our first steps include planning the new statement of NELP, designing a new planning and reporting regime for schools, and developing regulations to enable the establishment of Communities of Online Learning.

      Improving the flexibility and responsiveness of the tertiary education system

      The legislation for the tertiary education system is also being updated to be flexible, innovative and accountable, and ensure it delivers the right skills for the 21st century.

      The changes in the Education (Tertiary Education and Other Matters) Amendment Bill will:

      • increase flexibility, innovation and accountability in the tertiary education system
      • enable the delivery of the right skills for the 21st century
      • enhance the welfare of international students studying in New Zealand.

      Public submissions on the draft Bill closed in October 2016. Through this process, we sought feedback on whether the amendments were clear and easily understood, if any implementation issues are likely, and the potential impact of the proposals on tertiary education organisations and students.

      The Education (Tertiary Education and Other Matters) Amendment Bill was introduced in the House in May 2017, received its first reading, and was referred to the Education and Science Committee for its consideration. The Committee called for submissions, which closed on 23 June 2017, and over 2,000 were received. The Bill is not expected to be reported back to the House until after the general election.

      We updated our forecast of future demand for provider based tertiary education at Level 3 and above following the release of updated population and unemployment data by Statistics New Zealand and the Treasury. In line with the forecasted gradual improvement of the economy, our most recent forecast showed a slight year-on-year decrease of demand between 2017 and 2021. Despite this, Student Loan expenditure is still forecast to increase slightly each year, mostly due to increased borrowing for course fees. This forecast informed government decisions for Budget 2017, and planning for the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and sector.

      The direction set out in the Government’s July 2017 response to the Productivity Commission's inquiry into New Models of Tertiary Education signals some immediate and long term changes to improve the responsiveness, innovation and effectiveness of the tertiary education system. We, along with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, advised the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment on this response and will lead the work programme set out in it. This will help to ensure the system is well positioned to meet the challenges of the future, including rapid changes across our population, in our workplaces and through evolving technology. It is focused on four key areas:

      • creating a more student-centred system – so that students can make good decisions about their education and move easily through education and between education and employment
      • meeting the needs of industry through relevant, responsive and supportive teaching – to ensure graduates have the skills needed to find and maintain sustainable employment
      • improving performance across the system – so that providers and government can adapt and respond quickly and effectively to changing needs
      • enabling and encouraging innovative new models and providers – so that tertiary education is open to new and innovative ideas that contribute to strong outcomes for New Zealand.

      Updating funding systems for early learning and schooling

      In October 2016, Cabinet agreed to further testing and development of a possible new funding model for early learning and schooling. The new funding model will be more student-focused and support more equitable outcomes for all children, while retaining a viable network of providers throughout New Zealand.

      Technical reference groups comprised of sector experts were established in late 2016. These groups are providing advice on the different elements of the funding review. A particular focus for us in 2016/17 was developing advice on the replacement of the decile system.

      A new Risk Index will be used to better target funding to student need. Schools and services will be funded based on their estimated number of children at greater risk of educational underachievement using the new Risk Index. The factors that will make up the index are yet to be finalised.

      This is a complex project and we expect engagement, design and implementation processes to continue until 2019, with changes to the system in place prior to the next decile review which is due in 2020.

      Developing a new education resourcing system

      We are developing a new resourcing system that will calculate funding for early childhood education (ECE), school operational grants, staffing entitlements and special education.

      Our current funding system, the Education Management Information System (EDUMIS), will be replaced by a new, long term and sustainable information technology solution called the Education Resourcing System (ERS). The new ERS will also replace many other resourcing systems.

      The high level design for the ERS was approved in May 2017. The technology will be developed and built by mid-2019, and will be progressively rolled out in ECE services and schools between 2018 and 2020.

      Providing better careers information

      Following on from the review of the careers system last year, in 2016/17 we supported the TEC and Careers New Zealand (CNZ) as they prepared for the transfer of CNZ’s functions to TEC. This move aims to ensure the availability of earlier, better and more consistent careers information. This has involved preparing legislative changes, keeping Ministers updated on the progress of integration planning and gaining Ministers’ agreement on the amount of savings that will be redirected to strengthen schools based careers services, then setting up a new appropriation to fund the TEC’s new careers service.

      We consulted with the sector on the future of schools based careers services and provided a Cabinet paper proposing options for change.

      Long description of the key themes of the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 pie chart

      Pie diagram showing the key themes of the Education (update) Amendment Act 2017, with the words ‘legislation to support a great education’ at the centre. The key themes are:

      • Seclusion and physical restraint
      • Strengthen the schooling network
      • Enhancing collaboration
      • Enrolment and attendance
      • Updates aspects of the law
      • Framework for online learning
      • Managing teacher competence issues
      • Improve career services
      • Making progress and achievement central
      2 link)
  • Delivering high quality curriculum and qualification frameworks
    • The education system needs curriculum and qualification frameworks that support learning. 

      Improving learning outcomes in early childhood education

      We launched the updated early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, in April 2017. During 2016, we drafted the curriculum, sought consultation from the sector through 36 hui, an online survey and submissions of feedback, and began implementation. The updated curriculum has clearer learning outcomes for children, makes explicit connections to the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, and includes specific references to Pasifika children’s participation and learning. Te Whāriki includes two documents in one flip book, the early childhood curriculum (Te Whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa Early childhood curriculum) and the curriculum for ngā kōhanga reo (Te Whāriki a te Kōhanga Reo). The two documents share a common framework while describing alternative curriculum pathways.

      The 2017 update is being supported by an implementation package to help educators understand and engage with the updated Te Whāriki. This has included nationwide workshops to introduce the sector to Te Whāriki and provide support for curriculum Champions who will lead networks of educational leaders focused on effective curriculum implementation. Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust are leading this work in kōhanga reo.

      Supporting Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako to design a quality curriculum

      In 2016/17, we worked with Māori-medium and English-medium education stakeholders to develop a Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako curriculum design tool. The tool will help each Kāhui Ako implement a ‘quality local curriculum’ that is responsive to the learning needs and interests of their students and their community. Leaders and teachers can draw on the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa to plan coherent learning pathways and community based experiences for their students, as they progress from early learning through senior secondary and beyond. 

      Incorporating Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko into the curriculum

      Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko are transforming how we live by shaping our homes and workplaces, and changing the way we interact with each other and live our everyday lives. Our education system needs to adapt and change how we prepare our children and young people to participate, create and thrive in this fast-evolving digital world.

      As one of the actions within the Science and Society National Plan, A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri I te Mahara, Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko will be fully integrated into the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. During 2016/17, we developed draft curriculum content for Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko. The strengthened curriculum will support students to learn skills such as how to build computer programmes, create digital content and design digital devices.

      Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko content was introduced in June 2017, alongside a $40 million investment package. This investment will focus on upskilling teachers to deliver the new curriculum, shifting our education system to a more digitally-oriented environment, and providing more opportunities for young people to learn about Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko.

      We are now consulting with stakeholders on the draft curriculum content and achievement goals. As part of the consultation process, we ran workshops nationwide between July and September 2017.

      From the first term of 2018, Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko will be included in the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

      We are also reviewing how we recognise the achievement of our young people with revised Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) standards. We have worked with the sector to consult on draft NCEA Level 1 Achievement Standards and these are now being trialled in 35 secondary schools and wharekura. These standards will be published in December 2017 for use in schools and wharekura from 2018. Development of NCEA Levels 2 and 3 Achievement Standards is underway for use from 2019.

      Improving STEM skills and competencies

      Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) builds creativity, curiosity and innovation. The Science in Society National Plan, A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri I te Mahara, sets out the Government’s goal to encourage and enable better engagement with science and technology for all New Zealanders.

      A further year of funding for the Teachers in Industry and the Science Skills in Education initiatives has been confirmed, to align with the initial three years of actions in the Science in Society National Plan. The Teachers in Industry programme connects schools and kura with science or technology-intensive businesses in their community to help develop relevant curriculum content for the classroom. Through the Science Skills in Education initiative, we are improving science-related Professional Learning and Development (PLD) opportunities for primary and secondary school teachers.

      We are working with Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers, qualification accreditation bodies and professional bodies to lift the science and technology content in ITE courses. This included working with the Education Council to determine the improvements needed to ITE.

  • Using information and data to enable good decision making
    • Everyone from students, their families, business and employers, education providers to Ministers must have access to good information and data, and know how to use it, to support decision making.

      Improving access to data

      The Integrated Education Data (iEd) programme will make education data more accessible for educators to support students with their progress and achievement. It will ensure children and young people receive the right support at the right time. It complements ongoing improvements in tertiary education performance data, which are driven by our analysis of employment outcomes and provider and learner performance.

      The programme focuses on making full use of education data by using technology innovation to improve education information management systems and build on people capability. iEd will be delivered progressively in stages over the next five years.

      In 2016/17, we began the tender process for an IT partner to help us develop detailed requirements for the Student Information Sharing Initiative. The aim is to have a secure electronic platform to enable the transfer of a student’s information as they move through the education system.

      Promoting the Progress and Consistency Tool

      The Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT), introduced to primary schools in 2013, helps teachers make dependable judgements on student progress in reading, writing and mathematics in the New Zealand Curriculum.

      Teachers are in the best position to make accurate judgements about the progress of their students.

      We continue to promote the PaCT through the Learning with a Progress Tool support package, introduced in March 2017 and targeted specifically towards Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako. To date, we have received 162 requests for support, of which 44 are from Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

      An updated version of the Te Waharoa Ararau was released in July 2016, which is an online system that collects and reports on student achievement against Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori (the expectations set for students in Māori-medium schooling). It ensures information can be readily monitored by kaiako (teachers) and shared within kura (schools). Eighty-four percent of kura have signed up to the tool. We are encouraging kura who have not yet registered with Te Waharoa Ararau to do so.

      Information on employment options

      Students expect their tertiary study will improve their career prospects and help them get a job. Better information tools are assisting more young people and their families to make informed decisions.

      To help students decide what and where to study, information from providers about employment outcomes such as employment rates and earnings of their graduates was published for the general public from August 2017. During 2016/17, we worked with the TEC on how to present the data and on improvements to broaden the data available and make it more useful for young people. We have also begun work with the industry training sector on developing employment outcome measures for that important sector.

  • Providing high quality infrastructure
    • We provide and facilitate the provision of school property, transport and technology to ensure schools have the infrastructure they need for a 21st century learning environment.

      Maintaining and developing the Crown’s property portfolio

      The State school property portfolio that we manage is the Crown’s second largest social asset property portfolio.

      During 2016/17, capital expenditure of $771 million was spent on maintaining, upgrading and expanding the school property portfolio. This included the provision of new schools and classrooms to cater for growing school rolls. We also provided $33 million to schools to spend on new or updated furniture and equipment.

      During the year we delivered:

      • six new schools, including three schools through the Christchurch Schools Rebuild (CSR) programme (public-private partnerships delivered two of the CSR schools and one school in Auckland)
      • major redevelopments at 17 existing schools
      • 66 new learning spaces as part of the modular building programme, with a further 37 scheduled for completion by December 2017
      • 3,294 additional learning spaces to accommodate roll growth in Auckland
      • property modifications at 294 schools to help children with learning support needs engage more effectively in education.

      An additional 524 capital works projects are also currently in progress at 493 schools. This includes 73 schools under the CSR Programme and 10 schools under public- private partnerships.

      Contributing to the Canterbury rebuild

      The Government will have invested $1.137 billion in rebuilding, remodelling and renewing schools in the greater Christchurch area by the end of 2022. To date, we have spent $277 million (or 30%) of the budget made available for the programme. Of the 115 schools covered by the rebuild programme, we have completed projects at 12 schools and commenced construction for 26 schools. Of the remaining schools, 47 schools are at various stages of planning and design, and 30 are yet to enter the programme. The programme is tracking slightly ahead of schedule and we expect the last of the schools to enter the programme by July 2020.

      Following the North Canterbury earthquakes in November 2016, the Ministry assisted with emergency funding and support for schools. This included the provision of water trucks and tanks, engineering assessments and emergency repairs.

      In 2016/17, $15 million was paid to the University of Canterbury, which was the final instalment for stage two of the University of Canterbury’s Science Business Case. A further and final $50 million is scheduled for payment in 2018. In June 2017, Cabinet also agreed to contribute $85 million in capital funding to Lincoln University to contribute to its share of the joint facility project with AgResearch Limited, which will replace Lincoln University’s earthquake damaged science facilities.

      The scale of the damage and disruption of schools in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes meant we did not get everything right. In June 2017, the Ministry issued an apology for failures during our early engagement with the Christchurch community over school closures and mergers. As the Office of the Ombudsmen’s report found, we have done a lot of work since the beginning of 2013 to provide the right information to the schooling sector in Christchurch and to put things right. We now engage with schools earlier in the process and are working with the sector to revisit the closure and merger guidelines that we developed with them in 2013 to ensure they provide sufficient clarity around our policy and practice and reflect good consultation practice.

      Responding to growth in Auckland

      Auckland is growing at an unprecedented pace due to an increase in birth rates and migration. We are continuing to add significant capacity to the education network in the Auckland region to support population growth.

      We have delivered 8,978 additional student spaces of the 17,000 announced in 2014. With additional funding announced in Budget 2017 for a further 4,000 spaces, we expect to deliver a total of 21,000 new spaces in Auckland by 2021.

      Investing in digital infrastructure

      We continue to improve schools’ digital infrastructure to ensure that every student in every school has access to high quality and reliable ICT infrastructure and broadband. As at 30 June 2017, 2,394 (98% of) schools have access to unlimited, fast, reliable and safe internet through the managed network (Network for Learning). There are 798,000 students and teachers using the network on a daily basis across New Zealand.

      We have also retrofitted ICT networks in 786 schools with wireless equipment. Wireless networks provide more flexible digital learning and teaching, by ensuring that schools are able to make full use of their ultrafast broadband connection, enabling students to bring their own devices, and giving teachers and students better ways to work.

      Delivering school transport

      Over the last year, we assisted over 100,000 students across New Zealand to get to and from school each day by managing around 7,000 daily vehicle movements.

      We provided transport funding directly to around 400 schools and kura who organise and manage transport assistance for their students. Parents and caregivers of around 6,000 students, who do not have access to a transport service, receive allowances to help them to and from school. We also provided transport for 25,000 Year 7 and 8 students who do not have technology facilities at their own school to enable them to travel to their closest technology provider.

      We also provided Specialised School Transport Assistance (SESTA) for over 6,000 students with specific safety or mobility needs, mostly through a door-to-door service. We undertook a national tender for SESTA services, and our contracts with providers now require security cameras, GPS monitoring and panic alarms in all vehicles, as well as multiple new safety requirements.

      Delivering an effective payroll service

      Payroll services to over 93,000 school staff in around 2,500 schools are delivered each fortnight under a service agreement between us and the Crown-owned company Education Payroll Limited (EPL). The schools payroll is the largest payroll in New Zealand, disbursing about $4.6 billion annually.

      We monitor the performance of the service provided by EPL to ensure the schools payroll is accurate and timely.

      We began a refresh of the Ministry’s 10 year education payroll strategy to ensure the schools payroll is well positioned for the future.

      The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has identified widespread non-compliance with the Holidays Act 2003, and, given the size of the schools payroll, this is a significant issue for us. We completed an initial Holidays Act 2003 compliance review with EPL and Deloitte. The review identified some areas of non-compliance in the schools payroll, generally relating to the way pay for different types of leave was recorded, calculated and applied. Work is now underway to confirm and address those areas of non-compliance, and calculate and deliver remediation to affected staff.

      Enabling schools to focus on teaching and learning

      With assets ranging from teaching and administration blocks through to science laboratories and performing arts centres, the management of school property is complex.

      We have strengthened our frontline property advisory support to boards of trustees so that property management matters can be addressed promptly. We also provided a number of centrally-funded services to schools, including insurance for school buildings, leasing and rental payments for land and buildings, building warrant of fitness inspections, maintenance of houses used by schools and the removal of surplus buildings.

      Additional advice for boards of trustees is now available on our website, with a focus on advice around health and safety matters.

      Supporting the sector with their health and safety responsibilities

      We have continued to support schools and early childhood services to enable them to comply with their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. In 2016/17, we launched a range of specific guidelines at the request of the sector including a joint resource with WorkSafe on Notifiable Events in the Education Sector and a guide for employers hosting students on work experiences. Over 250,000 views were recorded on our health and safety webspace. Fourteen workshops to over 1,400 science and technology teachers were delivered nationally. This is in addition to the 83 health and safety workshops that were delivered since late 2015 and attended by 3,211 board of trustee chairpersons and school principals.

      We have also provided property information to help guide the education sector on various topics, including on managing asbestos and health and safety risks for small projects.