The National Education Growth Plan 2030 (NEGP) was released in May 2019 in response to population growth across New Zealand. Since the release of the NEGP in 2019, we have responded to growth by adding capacity at schools across the country, as well as using other tools to manage growing school rolls.
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The National Education Growth Plan 2030 (NEGP) was released in May 2019 in response to population growth across New Zealand. The NEGP is a first for New Zealand and represents a step change in the way we plan for, and manage, growth in the school-age population, school redevelopments and school builds. It provides a long term solution to a long term problem.
This plan is supported by the largest investment ever by a New Zealand Government in school property of $1.2 billion. The NEGP is designed to address the complexity and transformation required across all of New Zealand’s high growth regions to ensure that sufficient capacity is delivered nationwide in the right place at the right time.
The NEGP underpins Te Rautaki Rawa Kura – The School Property Strategy 2030 which sets out the desired future state for the school property portfolio, with learners/ākonga at the centre of our thinking.
The Plan identified 39 high growth catchments, 20 in Auckland and 19 across the rest of the country.
Responding to growth
Since the release of the NEGP in 2019, we have responded to growth by adding capacity at schools across the country, as well as using other tools to manage growing school rolls. These tools include implementing new or amending existing enrolment schemes, changes to network structure, roll growth funding and establishing new schools. We have also in some cases, re-prioritised investment as demand changes across catchments. See announcements about funding allocated through Budget 19 here. There will be more announcements over the coming months about additional investment at local schools.
In response to immediate and pressing need, we have invested about $100 million across the country to meet the most urgent requirements, with half of this in Auckland. The vast majority of these classrooms are now in place and being used. We know that there are more schools needing extra space in 2022 due to growing rolls, and we are working with these schools to address this.
Working with stakeholders
Signalling a longer term view provides direction to the wider community, including other government agencies, local government, and infrastructure and service providers. These catchment plans are intended to support conversations around long-term planning and investment and provide increased confidence to the sector that we are meeting the challenges of a growing population.
The medium term strategic view and planning approach taken by the NEGP is essential to improving equity and access to our schooling network. It will support greater cost-efficiencies, more stakeholder and community input into the design of the school network and allow for more agile responses to rapid shifts in population.
We are finding that the NEGP is driving greater collaboration with councils as future growth planning occurs. As a result, we are constantly monitoring the scale and pace of public and private sector development and working with our key external stakeholders to support integrated and joined up planning. For example, in Auckland we are working closely with Kāinga Ora as they plan and deliver housing regeneration projects across the region.
The NEGP is a flexible and live document that forecasts demand for student places based on regional analysis and catchment modelling. The modelling is regularly updated and refined as forecasts change, growth patterns emerge and as key input data is updated, such as roll numbers, enrolment patterns, population projections and large-scale developments. See a slide about the catchment planning methodology here [PDF, 516 KB].
We are planning to update our forecasts for the additional student places required to 2030 outlined in the NEGP once we receive school aged population projections (2018 Census based) from Statistics New Zealand in late 2021. In the meantime, we know that we can expect to see a continuation of growth in some parts of the country, with Auckland increasing its share of the national population over time. The most recent population projections can be seen on the Stats NZ website(external link).
Since 2019, we have been working to expand the catchment planning framework across all regions in New Zealand. The National Education Network Plan (NENP) is currently being drafted and will provide a snapshot view of the 80 catchments that sit outside the highest growth areas covered in the NEGP. The plan identifies some additional areas of population growth, but also areas of stable population patterns, and areas where school rolls are declining. This Plan will be released later in 2021.
The NENP supports our commitment to focus on barrier-free access to education and the need to develop and strengthen pathways for all learners. With the development of the NENP, we can now provide consistent forecasting, planning and modelling across the entire school network.
In the future, the NENP will support and align with a regional delivery focus and collaboration with communities, the education sector, local government and other government agencies to support integrated planning, investment decisions and education outcomes. Together with our Maori Medium network planning and specialist school network planning currently underway, the NEGP and NENP create a ‘family’ of strategic foundation planning documents.
It’s clear that over the last few years New Zealand has faced record population growth and this has put pressure on all sectors- not just education. As yet, we have not seen any slowing of roll growth in high growth areas as a result of Covid-19. Nonetheless, there is still uncertainly around what the long term impacts of COVID 19 are likely to be on school rolls and enrolment patterns. Previous global events, such as the Global Financial Crisis, show us that there will likely be a significant level of uncertainty around short-to-medium term impacts on demand for schooling, including the potential for:
- Slower rates of release of land development by private developers.
- Changes in demand and distribution in the schooling network (including shifts from private to public schools):
- Higher retention rates of senior students:
- Reduced immigration in the medium term; and
- Change in birth-rates, population growth and trends.
All of these factors have the potential to influence school rolls and we continue to monitor rolls and adjust our investment plans accordingly, in response to COVID 19.
Specific updates for each region are provided in the links below. These summary sheets provide an update of what we have been doing, what has changed since we published the NEGP, and which projects we have announced. The summary sheets also identify how we are planning to respond to future growth, so that we can continue to deliver the right provision, in the right place, at the right time.
Note: The NEGP summary sheets provide an update on the implementation of the 39 catchment plans in the NEGP. We have not made any changes or included any additional catchments into the NEGP at this stage. We know that there are other areas of growth outside the NEGP catchments, and are developing catchment plans to manage this growth, just as we are for areas of stable population growth and declining populations. (see Areas outside the NEGP)
More information on specific projects is available from our regional offices.
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