Rāmere 21 o Hakihea Friday 21 December

This will be the last post for the year. We will begin NZ Education News again on Monday 14 January 2019. Thank you for your support in following NZ Education News, we hope you find it useful in keeping up to date on education news in Aotearoa New Zealand. If you have any ideas or suggestions for this blog please drop us a comment. Keep an eye out in the new year as there could be some changes to our blog.

We wish you and your family a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.  We hope that you can recharge and enjoy your well-deserved break these holidays. We look forward to seeing you again in 2019.

Schools illegally refusing to enrol children in emergency housing

Schools are illegally refusing to enrol children by saying their classrooms are too full or insisting on permanent addresses for families in emergency housing.

Many low decile schools ditched donations before cap advice to government

A proposal to cap school donations has fallen flat in Marlborough, where three low decile schools have already given up asking for donations.

Review clears Massey University vice-chancellor Jan Thomas over Don Brash ban

Massey University vice-chancellor Jan Thomas has been cleared of wrongdoing over her handling of the Don Brash censorship saga.

Agricultural training college in receivership

A major national agricultural training facility has gone into liquidation, affecting 250 jobs and 2850 students. Wairarapa-based Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, which has 11 campuses across the country, was placed in Interim Liquidation by the High Court on Wednesday.



Why we need a national policy on teaching foreign languages

A smaller proportion of secondary school students is learning languages now than at any other time in the past 100 years.  This means the New Zealand education system is failing to give students the cognitive development skills language study offers, or the professional and social competence that linguistic capabilities provide.

Media releases


OMGTech!’s Mana Tangata programme delivers for youth | Scoop News

OMG Solutions: To address digital inequality and tech sector diversity, the OMGTech! Mana Tangata programme pairs up kids from communities that are not well represented in tech with industry mentors who are currently working in the science and technology sector.

Artificial intelligence a key for New Zealand’s future

Make Lemonade: New Zealand needs to seize new opportunities in 2019 and harness new AI technologies to deliver positive social and environmental outcomes, AI Forum New Zealand executive director Ben Reid says.


Rāapa 19 o Hakihea Wednesday 19 December

Victoria University’s name to remain unchanged after Education Minister intervenes

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has put the kaibosh on plans to change the name of the Victoria University of Wellington.

Maori businesses using te reo in products to normalize language

A new wave of Maori entrepreneurs are selling products that use te reo Maori in a bid to normalise the language.

Staff stood down pending investigation into Lower Hutt childcare centre

Complaints have been made against Hutt Hospital Childcare Centre in Lower Hutt, prompting a Ministry of Education investigation.



Political Roundup: The case against major school reform

Debate has now kicked off over the Government’s most radical reforms to date – the overhaul of the way our schools are run.

With the release of the “Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce” proposals for change, there is now a polarised and highly-ideological battle involving important values that will inform the future of education in this country. Today I’ll round up opposition so far to the proposed reforms and tomorrow’s column will look at the case in favour of the reforms.

Political Roundup: The battle for our school system

Equality, fairness, and cooperation look set to become the priorities underpinning the operations of the schooling system.

They’re the values that are explicit in the radical new proposals to overhaul education and roll back the “neoliberal” Tomorrow’s Schools model that was imposed in the 1980s.The status quo, based on competition and a business model is deemed to have failed, creating inequality and poor outcomes.

Equity and wellbeing in Tomorrow’s Schools review

If Minister of Education Chris Hipkins needs confirmation that the Tomorrow’s Schools Taskforce report had got it right, the negative comments of several prominent Auckland principals will have him absolutely convinced the review is on the right track.

Teacher shortage or not – I still can’t get work

I’ve remained hopeful, but not having regular, paid work has taken a toll on my self-confidence, not to mention my savings account.

Media releases


New prototype service for kids at risk of expulsion

NZGovt: A new service will be trialled in Napier next year to help younger students at risk of disconnection from school because of suspension, expulsion and non-attendance, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin has announced. “The prototype, the Napier Student Managed Moved Service, is the first in New Zealand to be designed for primary rather than secondary school students,” says Tracey Martin.

Wellbeing of New Zealanders at the heart of Budget priorities

NZGovt: Improving the wellbeing of current and future New Zealanders will be the focus of Budget 2019, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said on Thursday.

Dr Hinurewa Poutu appointed to Te Mātāwai Board

NZGovt: Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta has appointed Dr Hinurewa Poutu (Ngāti Rangi, Te Āti Haunui a Pāpārangi, Ngāti Maniapoto) to the Board of Te Mātāwai for a three year term. “Dr Poutu brings a rangatahi voice to the Board,” said Hon Nanaia  Mahuta.

Polling shows Kiwis agree – give teachers what they need

NZEI: Polling over recent months shows 89% of Kiwis want more money spent on education, ahead of other issues.

LearnCoach closes $1.5m seed round

LearnCoach: Wellington-based education social enterprise LearnCoach has closed a $1.5m seed round to help scale up its online education platform.

Rāhina 17 o Hakihea

Schools illegally refusing to enrol local children

Schools are illegally refusing to enrol children by saying their classrooms are too full or insisting on permanent addresses for families in emergency housing.

Millions of dollars needed to end intermediate school system, principal warns

Abolishing the intermediate school system shouldn’t be attempted without a commitment from government to invest millions of dollars, a Nelson school principal warns.

Education leaders concerned that school heads are boosting student rolls to line their own pockets

Principals are accused of poaching students to grow their school rolls – and line their own pockets.

ESOL funds cut riles principals

A cut to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) funding by the Ministry of Education has left school principals angry and scrambling to find ways to fund ESOL teachers they have already employed for 2019.

NCEA exams unlikely to be fully digital by 2020 – NZQA

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority is unlikely to reach its target of having NCEA exams completed online by 2020.

Ministry of Education Pacific language books recognised

A series of books designed to help Pacific children with literacy was awarded last week at the SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards in Auckland.

Struggling to learn: kids who learn differently struggle in schools

A three-part Herald series starting today investigates why schools are struggling to cope with kids who are “wired differently”. Tomorrow we report on the brain science of learning differences, and on Wednesday we ask how we could do better.

Why early diagnosis of autism should lead to early intervention

(Australian content) Research suggests children can be reliably diagnosed with autism before the age of two. It also shows that many of the behavioural symptoms of autism are present before the age of one.

Deadly waters: New Zealand’s drowning problem more than a disturbing statistic

To stop drowning in our disturbing statistics, New Zealand needs to change four things now: funding, the national curriculum, behaviours toward the water, and aiding minority groups over-represented in data, Water Safety NZ CEO John Mills says.

Ban on school prize givings may damage students, says headmaster

An Auckland Secondary school headmaster says banning school prize givings at a primary school level could be damaging to students.

Media releases

Teachers ready for schools to recruit for 2019

Ministry of Education: Around 550 overseas teachers are already screened and ready for principals to hire – to cover vacancies in our primary and secondary schools for next year.

Local support for new EIT Institute of Sport and Health

EIT: Local companies and organisations have given millions of dollars in funding partnerships for a new sport and health centre being built at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park in Hastings.

School boards of trustees cost-effective and under-valued

NZSTA: School boards of trustees have been the most cost-effective part of the education system for the past 30 years, says the New Zealand School Trustees Association.

Tomorrow’s Schools

NZPF: Last Friday, the much anticipated Tomorrow’s Schools final report was released by the Task Force. Most in our sector welcomed the report which signals some major changes.


Jonathan Milne: As a schoolboy, the education minister took on failing leaders; he won’t hesitate to do it again

The man who is now the education minister was, in the 1990s, a few years behind me at the struggling Hutt Valley Memorial College.

It’s high time we ended segregation in our school system

The final destination for New Zealand’s educational white flight is looking hilariously, refreshingly, ethnic in recommendations from the Government’s school system review.

Rāmere 14 o Hakihea

NZ school curriculum under fire from US academic Tony Wagner

A Harvard University education expert says the school curriculum “created a century ago” needs updating, but most local high-school principals do not agree. Dr Tony Wagner, a senior research fellow at Harvard University…

Schools ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Tomorrow’s Schools review recommendations

School leaders are “cautiously optimistic” about radical reforms recommended by an independent taskforce last week, which said there was no evidence self-governance had helped schools improve equity or lift student achievement.

Teen loses 28kg after school bans fizzy drinks

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hoani Waititi is one of 40 West Auckland schools which have pledged to go water-first over the past year.

Employment programme getting young adults off the benefit and into work

An employment programme is helping Taranaki young adults get off the benefit and into work.

Up to $50 million paid for fees-free students who either failed or withdrew

The Government is potentially spending up to $53 million a year on its flagship fees-free policy for students that have either withdrawn from or failed tertiary courses.

Young creator in Cambridge forges a different path in education and growth

Grace Andrews, 15, chose to leave school at the end of term three last year. She was a year nine student, just getting started at high school.

Christchurch YMCA opens new 24/7 technology centre for youth

Christchurch youth not in education, employment or training will now have access to a brand new technology centre offering them a space they can call their own.

Media releases

New Zealand’s First Cyber Prep Academy

Unitec: New Zealand’s First Cyber Prep Academy Designed to Address Cybersecurity Skills Shortage

Kiwis agree – give teachers what they need

PPTA: Polling over recent months shows 89% of Kiwis want more money spent on education, ahead of other issues.

Early Childhood Council presents petition to Parliament

Early Childhood Council: Delivered a petition to Parliament seeking scrutiny of the way the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is applied to Pasifika early childhood education teachers.


Editorial: All parties must work together to fix education

Where does one start? When will it all end? Teachers are hitting the streets in protest at onerous workloads and poor pay, principals are leaving their posts because of stress.

Why our school sport system is completely broken

The drama raging over the ruthless rugby recruitment of Auckland private school St Kentigern’s College is an illustration of what’s wrong with school sport in New Zealand.

Rāapa 12 o Hakihea Wednesday 12 December

My year in review: Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education

Chris Hipkins speaks to EducationHQ about his thoughts on the year that was 2018.

Excellence in teaching awards

Yolande Franke, principal of Howick Intermediate School is one of the 15 inspirational educators nominated from 2000 applications for the Australian Scholarship Grant (ASG) National Excellence in Teaching Award.

800 overseas teachers ready for schools to hire for 2019, Ministry of Education says

On Wednesday morning, the ministry claimed it had received more than 5800 applications from overseas teachers to work in New Zealand, “with hundreds currently making their way through the recruitment pipeline”. That is about 2800 more applications than in mid-November. Schools have hired 150 overseas applicants through ministry recruitment agents – 50 more than last month.

DXC Technology launches programme to help people on the autism spectrum build ICT careers

The launch of the DXC Dandelion Programme in New Zealand is critical given the constant evolution, change and demand for new talent in the IT industry.

Labour will support National bill on language classes at primary school

National Party education spokeswoman Nikki Kaye has won Labour’s support for her second-language bill.

NZ First will be the only party in Parliament to oppose National’s ‘own’ language policy

New Zealand First will be the only party in Parliament to oppose legislation which would promote teaching children a second language in school.

Trips to Canada, South Korea, Gold Coast and Hawaii catch Auditor-General’s attention

Schools are forking out tens of thousands of dollars on overseas school trips despite the Office of the Auditor-General warning they breached Ministry of Education guidelines.

More than 60 schools broke laws and regulations – auditor

More than 60 schools broke laws and regulations last year, and a further 44 had such bad financial problems the Education Ministry had to promise to underwrite them, an auditor report has revealed.

Pepper the robot takes MPs’ questions

Pepper the Robot made history today as it took its place before MPs to answer questions about preparing children for the fourth industrial revolution. The robot, “a resident” of Middlesex University, was even given a name label on the desk as it fielded questions from members of the Commons education select committee.



Carol Anderson: How the education reform proposals might affect schools, trustees and parents

The report by the Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Task Force has been described as “a major shake-up” to the administration and governance of schools. The proposed changes could have some real benefits for school trustees and principals.

Media releases


Minister wants ‘wider discussion’ on proposed schooling changes

NZGovt: The Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce is proposing significant changes to the way our schools are run, governed, and managed to ensure every student receives the best quality education in future, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

New appointments to Tertiary Education Commission Board

NZGovt: Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced two appointments to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) Board. Former CPIT Board Chair Jenn Bestwick and Vivien Bridgwater, formerly of AUT and Auckland’s regional economic growth agency, ATEED, have each been appointed for three-year terms.



Rāhina 10 o Hakihea, Monday 10 December

Tomorrow’s Schools Review: All you need to know about the proposed education shake-up

The report, which follows five months of nationwide consultation, says the Board of Trustees model has created a ‘my school’ mentality of unhealthy competition that has led to inequity. If this is not addressed through a transformational change, the economic and social consequences will be dire.

Radical schools report recommends stripping boards of trustees’ powers

The Tomorrow’s Schools independent taskforce has recommended huge changes in education, including curtailing boards of trustees’ roles, limiting out-of-zone enrolments, and ending the decile system.

Review poses ‘very big question marks’ over intermediate schools’ place in education

The findings of a Government-appointed taskforce into Tomorrow’s Schools system have cast a shadow over the future of the country’s 115 intermediate schools.

‘Disempowering parents’: Mixed reactions to education shake-up

“The hubs would see a major reduction in the power and duties of boards of trustees and parents in our education system, including taking responsibility for expulsions, final decision making rights on enrolments and zoning, and the employment of principals.”

Auckland Grammar principal slams proposal to cap school donations

The principal of one of New Zealand’s most elite public colleges says he’d have to lay off teachers if proposals to cap school donations go ahead.

More than 160,000 Kiwi kids don’t get enough good food

The Monitor, released on Monday morning, said there was no new data on child poverty in New Zealand, but it put a “spotlight on critical areas”.

Media releases


Transformational change needed to reform Education system

Human Rights Commission: The Human Rights Commission welcomes the release of the Tomorrows Schools Independent Taskforce: “Our schooling futures: Stronger Together’ Report. Acting Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says the recommendations in the report are an opportunity to create an education system that is innovative, flexible and focused on collaboration rather than in competition.

Tomorrow’s Schools recommendations welcomed

NZEI: Our nation’s children are finally being put at the heart of the education system.

Rāmere 9 o Hakihea

‘No rush into NCEA changes’ – Education Minister Chris Hipkins

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says there is still no agreement on how to change the senior school exam system and it will not change before 2020 “at the earliest”. He told a “co-design lab” in Wellington that New Zealanders clearly didn’t all agree yet on how to change the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).

Education Ministry refuses to pay for teacher registration while no agreements with unions in force

Some teachers are upset that the Ministry of Education won‘t pay for their professional registration to be renewed while there are industrial negotiations underway and no settlement.

Govt doubles tax on private tertiary institutes for overseas student fees

The Government is almost doubling a tax on international student fees for private tertiary providers, but has signalled that the tax could be tied to the quality of education in future.

Christchurch secondary schools first in NZ to get wellbeing and resilience training

Dr Lucy Hone is on a mission get resilience training into New Zealand schools* – and she’s starting with Christchurch. The New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience director has led five wellbeing hui with staff from all 33 Greater Christchurch high schools this year.

Crackdown on religious teaching not enough for secular group

The government is cracking down on religious education classes with new guidelines for schools, but the secular group which pushed for change still isn’t happy. The Secular Education Network has been lobbying for more than a decade for the classes to be banned, and its supporters have swamped the Ministry of Education with complaints.

Media releases


Research projects share $1.4 million in funding

Teaching and Learning Research Initiative: The Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) supports partnerships between researchers and educators by funding projects expected to improve outcomes for learners.

This year’s funding of over $1.4 million has been allocated to six projects, one in the early childhood education sector and five in the school sector.

Ministry response to NZEI Te Riu Roa ballot result

Ministry of Education: “NZEI members have voted to reject the Ministry’s revised offer to settle primary principals’ and teachers’ collective agreements. We now invite NZEI to return to the bargaining table to discuss options for settling the collective to meet their member’s priorities within the $698 million package.”

 Export Education rates released

NZGovt: New rates for the levy paid by international education providers balance their interests with the need to both promote the sector and address failures when they occur, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has said. The Export Education Levy (EEL) is collected from providers to fund a broad range of activities including marketing and promotion. It also funds reimbursements for international students caught out by Private Training Establishment (PTE) programme and provider closures.