Rāapa 30 o Kohitātea, Wednesday 30 January

More schools delay start dates to avoid the heat

No statistics are available, but several principals say they have opted not to start classes until after Waitangi Day because of the heat at this time of year, combined with parents wanting to work up till Christmas at the other end of the year.

Teacher mental health suffers amid shortage crisis

While there’s a growing focus on student mental health, educators say the teacher shortage crisis is taking a toll on their own mental wellbeing. Those who left the profession in 2018 have detailed the stress, workload and lack of work-life balance as reasons for quitting.

Teacher shortage: One in six Auckland schools starting year with vacancies

The Education Gazette lists 134 vacancies spread across 87 Auckland schools, 15 per cent of the region’s 565 schools. However the teacher shortage appears to have eased since this time last year, when 108 Auckland schools, or one in five schools, were still advertising for teachers.

Charity feeds thousands of school children each week

One in five children in low decile schools is heading to school hungry, KidsCan says.

‘Horrendous’ cost of school uniforms sparks call for government action

Back-to-school costs are getting harder for many families. A charitable trust is urging the Government to step in to help.

Hundreds of Māori students missing out on education programme

An academic course for Māori high school students is proving so popular there’s a waiting list to join. But there is little hope they’ll be able to sign up next year because the Ministry of Education won’t fund the programme.

Six-year-old girl donates school supplies instead of receiving birthday presents

Summer Wilkinson refused presents for her sixth birthday party, and instead collected school supplies for children in need.

Bike it Forward campaign: Call to donate unwanted bikes to help kids

In the Bike it Forward campaign, Bike Barn is asking New Zealanders to donate bicycles their children have outgrown or no longer use. Donated bikes will be given an overhaul by Bike Barn mechanics and then given to less advantaged kids and schools around the country, through the TRYathlon Foundation.



The long game that is international education

 If we look at other parts of the world, it is clear what international education contributes – and has the potential to contribute. We need to ensure that the full contribution of international education is recognised here too, and that the valuable role education plays in internationalisation and connecting New Zealand with the rest of the world is understood and embraced.

Media releases


Teacher supply

MoE: In October 2018, the Government released an expanded teacher supply package to meet forecast the rising level of demand. This focused on meeting the immediate need through a blend of initiatives to increase supply of New Zealand trained teachers as well as provide a pool of qualified overseas trained teachers. Currently, our recruiters are working to fill 281 lodged roles, of which 152 are in Auckland. These 281 roles are for Term 1.


Rāhina 28 o Kohitātea, Monday 28 January

Teachers’ unions tight-lipped on potential strike action as students return to school

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Riu Roa and Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) signalled the possibility of sector-wide industrial action before the Christmas holiday break but have come into the New Year tight-lipped about a Term 1 mega strike.

Epic battle starts over Tomorrow’s Schools reforms

It was designed to let schools offer a variety of kinds of education and then let the “consumers” (students and their parents) choose between them. But in practice, under the 1989 Tomorrow’s Schools system, families have chosen based mainly on the wealth of their communities – their decile ratings.

Culturally responsive teaching in a globalized world

In this increasingly globalized landscape, schools face significant challenges. Researchers have documented lower educational outcomes such as student achievement and graduation rates for immigrant students in the majority of countries around the world.

In response to these outcomes, more research is being devoted to understanding and supporting conditions for equitable learning. Culturally responsive teaching (CRT) is one idea to support these conditions. CRT is concerned with teaching methods and practices that recognize the importance of including students’ cultural backgrounds in all aspects of learning.

Telford students poised to hear minister’s verdict

A proposal from the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) to take over Telford from beleaguered Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre went to Education Minister Chris Hipkins on Friday, and will be considered in cabinet on Monday.

The robots are coming – can we be friends with them?

Voice-controlled artificial intelligence systems, and even robots, have become more common in our everyday lives; from Siri, Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant”, to WoeBot, the chatbot therapist, to Travelmate, the suitcase that uses GPS to stay close to your connected smartphone.

As they proliferate, how should we properly address, and relate, to these virtual beings?

South Auckland school scraps donations and provides free stationery

Parents at a south Auckland school no longer have to worry about buying stationery or paying donations. Rowandale Primary School in Manurewa has scrapped its request for an annual donation and is providing free stationery for every student.

Hungry children won’t show up for new school year, principal says

Principal Belinda Johnston knows of students that are without uniforms or regular meals. When the bell sounds for the start of the school year at south Auckland’s Anchorage Park School some of the chairs are likely to be empty, principal Belinda Johnston says.

It’s not that the decile three Pakuranga primary is struggling to fill its roll, rather that many parents will feel self-conscious about sending their kids to school hungry.

School uniforms – why do they cost so much?

Twenty families a day are calling the Christchurch City Mission seeking help paying for new school uniforms.

How to cope with anxiety when going back to school

It’s that time of year: school’s country wide are opening their doors for a new year. It can come as a welcome relief to parents after the long summer break, but it can cause anxiety in kids. How does a parent cope with that?

Gwendoline Smith is a clinical psychologist, speaker, blogger and author.  She also works closely with the Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland to provide guidance to school councillors.

Tauranga’s booming population hits schools in 2019

Tauranga’s surging population is forcing schools to build new classrooms and repurpose existing buildings as they prepare for a big influx of new students in 2019.



Are teachers valued in New Zealand?

I love teaching young people.  I love the energy, the challenges and the diversity they bring to my life.  But I am seriously concerned about the future of education in New Zealand.

National MP Nicola Willis wants to chop up to two weeks off schools’ summer holiday

Nicola Willis, who argues the case for a shorter break in an opinion piece in today’s Herald, said she intends to write a private member’s bill to implement the idea.

Media releases


Quitting teachers explain why they are leaving

NZEI: Surveys* of teachers and principals who quit the profession last year show they left mainly due to a lack of work/life balance and burnout from high workload. The survey respondents included 169 primary and 201 secondary teachers and principals.

Rāmere 25 o Kohitātea

School year begins as more teacher strikes loom

Schools begin to reopen next week under the threat of industrial action by both primary and secondary teachers. That’s despite direct talks between the primary teachers union and the Education Minister, Chris Hipkins, over the holidays in an attempt to resolve the deadlock that last year resulted in two strikes by teachers and principals. (RNZ Audio)

Are our teachers ready for the new curriculum?

As thousands of children get ready to start the school year, there is concern that the biggest change to the school curriculum in decades will take students and teachers by surprise. (Newshub Video)

Learning local

Schools are being encouraged to develop localised teaching units now that national standards have been abolished. NZHerald’s Simon Collins has produced a five-part series.

NZ schools need 376 teachers in 2019 as overseas recruitment drive falls short

A search of the Education Gazette on Wednesday found 376 vacancies – 180 in primary, 165 in secondary, and 31 in composite and area schools.

Count on it: kids can love maths

What does mathematics look like in your daily life? Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Education at Massey University Dr Jodie Hunter talks to Kathryn Ryan about how parents can help their children learn to love and understand maths by spotting the patterns all around them. (RNZ Audio)

From speaking zero te reo to teaching the language

At one point Jamal Peeni could only speak two words of te reo Māori. Now he’s been chosen to teach the language at one of the top te reo courses in Aotearoa.

How ‘safetyism’ created an epidemic of anxiety and fragility

The new morality of a strident and vocal “Generation Z” minority who demand protection from words and ideas they do not like is spreading quickly in English-speaking countries.

Emotional tools for kids taught through books and songs

New Zealand author Avril McDonald is taking her book series Feel Brave into the music world.

Free school buses trial to begin in Tauranga next week

The Welcome Bay school bus trial will establish whether free fares for students can assist in Tauranga’s traffic congestion at the start of Term One for Welcome Bay students.

Long serving Nelson principal accepts new role in Golden Bay

Hugh Gully, longest serving principal of Nelson Intermediate, has been announced as the new head of Collingwood Area School.

Media releases

ShapEd delivers three new primary schools

ShapEd delivers three new primary schools under third schools Public Private Partnership.

First micro-credentials for secondary school students

MITO: Secondary school students keen to gain experience in the automotive industry while at school can now achieve micro-credentials.

Fully Funded Scholarships at The Mind Lab

The Mind Lab: In a bid to help support educational equity across New Zealand, The Mind Lab is offering full-tuition scholarships for their Postgraduate Certificate in Digital & Collaborative Learning to the first 100 teachers working in decile 1-3 schools for the March 2019 intake.


Rāapa 23 o Kohitātea, Wednesday 23 January

Education Minister Chris Hipkins believes teachers’ strike ‘unjustified’

Chris Hipkins believes it would be unjustified for teachers to strike again. The Education Minister has been in negotiations with the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) over the last week, and further discussions are expected with NZEI, the primary school teachers union.

“We are happy to talk to them about how we can reconfigure [the offers] to meet their needs but the ability of Government to continue to add to the offer is constrained,” he told The AM Show on Tuesday.

Six-monthly school reports to parents look set to be axed

Traditional six-monthly school reports to parents may be axed in a revamped school curriculum with more localised teaching topics. A review group on curriculum, progress and achievement, set up to develop new ideas for primary schools after national standards were abolished in 2017, wants parents to get real-time digital information about their children’s learning instead of traditional reports.

Digital report cards are better for children, parents but worse for teachers: Principal

A primary school principal says digital reports cards could be better for kids and parents but would mean more work for teachers. Education Minister Chris Hipkins is considering giving traditional report cards the axe – after a primary school review group suggested going digital.

The lucrative relationship between schools and business

Parents spending up large on digital devices for their children’s schoolwork, should get tax rebates, ex-school principal Graham Prentice believes. Around half of schools (48 per cent) have “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies, according to research done for Ministry of Education by private market intelligence company IDC.

Maps of space and time

What do maps do? That seems easy: they locate you in space. But they can also put you in time. Ngāi Tahu’s innovative Kā Huru Manu is one of those maps. As an interactive cultural mapping project, online at kahurumanu.co.nz, it layers original Māori place names and travel routes (known as kā ara tawhito) over the familiar shape of the South Island, restoring its lost histories.

Teachers deregistered for almost 600 matters in past 5 years

Data supplied by the Teaching Council under the Official Information Act shows that teachers were barred temporarily or permanently for 128 matters of sexual behaviour or contact and 59 matters of “inappropriate behaviour (sexual non-contact, etc)” in the five years to the end of 2018.

Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust CEO steps down

Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust CEO Kararaina Calcott-Cribb has stepped down from the position she has held for the past three years.

Media releases


Ministry of Education employees supporting children with learning needs to take strike action

NZEI: Learning Support Service Managers, the Education Ministry staff responsible for the allocation and management of support services for children with additional learning needs, are set to take strike action from Monday [21 January] after a bid to gain parity with other managers employed by the Ministry of Education failed.

First NZ Study on effects of screen-time on pre-school children

NZGovt: Obesity, poorer motor skills, hyperactivity problems and poor sleep are just some of the effects that may be experienced by pre-school children who exceed New Zealand’s screen-time guidelines, according to a study funded by the Ministry of Social Development’s Children and Families Research Fund.

Still time for schools to access ongoing support

Ministry of Education: The Ministry of Education will continue to support principals with their teaching vacancies beyond the start of the first term and well into the school year with a range of supply initiatives.

Maori Kids to start the school year more behind than ever

Maori council: Maori Kids to start the school year more behind than ever before: rise of the digital divide In this press release: an overview of the problem faced, solutions for Government to consider and tips for parents to try and cover the costs involved. The new school …Maori Kids to start the school year more behind than ever before: rise of the digital divide.

Rāmere 18 o Kohitātea, Friday 18 January

Rich school, poor school: Top schools get millions in donations while others get $0

About $140 million was donated to New Zealand schools in 2017 – and more than half of that went to just 10 per cent of schools.

A place for Pasifika in early education

Pacific families in New Zealand have the highest number of children aged from birth to four. Unfortunately, they also have the lowest enrolment in early childhood education and this will only change if Pasifika culture is properly understood and respected within the infant and toddler learning space.

Kick for the Seagulls programme to educate prisoners through sport

The Kick for the Seagulls programme, designed to educate prisoners through sport, was launched at UCOL on Tuesday. It uses sports language and coaching techniques to teach numeracy and literacy for people who haven’t had much success in a traditional learning environment, something a large section of the prison population can relate to.

Edtech firm Kami raises $1.5m

New Zealand edtech startup Kami has raised $1.5 million to help take the company to North America and beyond.  Kami is a cloud-based edtech provider, whose app is designed to provide an easier way of learning for both teachers and students.

Human assets the key to a successful digital transformation

Constant innovation has seen IT and the role of employees within it change repetitively in recent years. “An important part of the process is evaluating employees’ skillsets to identify where there might be a gap. This skills gap could hinder the adoption of new technology, so organisations must prepare the workforce for change. Staff need to be supported through the transition, including the formation of new roles and the dissolution or change of others,” says Y Soft co-founder and CIO Martin de Martini.


Pat Walsh: Radical education shake-up comes with risks

The Government’s taskforce on education presents, on the face, of it, a compelling case for radical reform. The Tomorrow’s Schools regime has been in place for 30 years with very mixed results.

Rāapa 16 o Kohitātea, Wednesday 16 January

Why some students won’t be getting their NCEA certificate

Many successful students will not receive their NCEA certificates this year because they haven’t paid the $78 fee.

‘Hiccups’ and euphoria for families logging into NCEA results

​Secondary Principals’ Association of New Zealand (SPANZ) president Michael Williams said results day was a big one for both parents and students. There would be euphoria for those who received their desired results but there would also be disappointment.

Adolescent screen time about as bad as eating potatoes, study says

The effect of screen time on adolescents’ mental health isn’t as bad as we may believe, a study says.

Taratahi staff and students in limbo in the wake of financial collapse

The liquidation of Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, New Zealand’s largest primary sector education provider, has left staff and students in limbo.

Taranaki polytech announces its new chief executive

Education guru John Snook will take over as chief executive of Witt in February. An international kayaker turned education guru has taken the reins of Taranaki’s troubled polytech for the next two years.



Alwyn Poole: Be best teaching aide your child ever has

Some aspects of the New Zealand education system are a massive mess. It is also pretty much stating the obvious that the Bali Haque report on changing the “system” and imposing more bureaucracy, centralised control and limits on parental choice will fix things in the same way that punching a hole on the starboard side of a boat to balance a gash on the port side – so that the ship sinks equitably – is a “fix”.




Rāhina 14 o Kohitātea, Monday 14 January

Welcome back. We hope you enjoyed your break. We certainly did.
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Strikes, crisis talks and ministry reviews: 2018 gave us a schooling

With the 2019 school year about to start, Stuff asked those at the coalface to turn their grading pen on their respective sector.

Schools use force 13 times a day as classroom ‘chaos’ escalates

Schools are using force to control escalating student “chaos” on average 13 times a day – in some cases with children as young as 4.

School principal pulls regular all-nighters to keep on top of workload

For one night a week, Wendy Sheridan-Smith doesn’t sleep. Instead, the Waikato primary school principal and teacher works through the night in an effort to keep on top of her gruelling workload

Cyber safety: When to let children loose on the web?

Parents are being urged to get to grips with what their children are doing online, amid reports that potential risks to young people from the internet are overtaking drugs and alcohol as a community concern.

Rosemary Hipkins honoured in New Year list

Dr Rosemary Hipkins’ service to science education was recognised in the New Year Honours list when she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

New Year’s honours: The amazing Mrs Tipler recognised for services to maths

A former maths teacher who decided to write her own textbooks has been recognised in the New Year’s honours, becoming an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Maryanne Tipler, now living in the Marlborough Sounds, has been weaving Kiwi culture into textbooks and teacher support resources for 35 years.

Children should not be taught their gender can be changed, says poll for Family First

The poll of 1000 people found 54 per cent did not believe that children should be taught that their gender can be changed through surgery and hormone treatment, compared with 35 per cent who thought they should be taught, and 11 per cent who were unsure.



Our schooling system needs changing – and here’s why

The Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce spent almost six months looking at the evidence and held over 200 meetings all over the country. So is our current education system still relevant? Does it work for you as a parent or school board member? Does it meet the needs of our children today?

Briar Lipson: Time to speak up on ideas from school taskforce

The Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce sees competition and self-governance as bad, collaboration and ministry management as good. It is seductive stuff, if a little Orwellian.

The complexities of moving school start dates to avoid sweltering summer temps

With weather seemingly getting sunnier and temperatures hotter later in January and into February, should we move the school year to start later in February?

Media releases


Charles Darr appointed as Chief Researcher ­

NZCER: The New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) is pleased to announce that Charles Darr has been appointed Chief Researcher with a special interest in assessment.