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.
Please share this blog with others you know who are interested in media stories, releases, and opinion about the education sector in Aotearoa New Zealand.
As always, if you’d like to share something with us, please leave us a comment.

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.


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.