The Government will invest $14.7 million to redevelop Grey Lynn School in central Auckland, Education Minister Hekia Parata announced today.
“This project will see ageing facilities replaced and will also set the school up to accommodate anticipated roll growth,” says Ms Parata.
“As with many parts of the city, the population in central Auckland is growing rapidly, and we need to ensure local schools have the capacity to meet increased demand.”
The $14 million investment will deliver 14 new teaching spaces, including six roll growth and eight replacement classrooms, as well as new library and administration facilities and a multi-purpose hall.
“Site constraints mean a lot of work is being put into the design work for the redevelopment,” says Ms Parata.
“The final plans will see a mix of two and three storey buildings, to ensure valuable outdoor recreation space can be retained.”
Early site works will be carried out over the summer holidays. Construction is expected to get underway in April 2017, and be completed by January 2019.
Grey Lynn School is one of 11 schools that are part of the recently established Waiorea Community of Learning (CoL). CoLs are about increasing student achievement by schools working together to share expertise and lift the quality of teaching and learning.
Today’s announcement means over $268 million worth of school redevelopments have been announced or have commenced in Auckland over the past six months, including Macleans College, Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae, Te Atatu Intermediate School, Te Huruhi School, Waiheke High School, Northcote Primary School, Newmarket School, Clayton Park School, Takapuna Primary School, Bayswater School, Western Springs College, Freemans Bay School, Papatoetoe Central School, The Gardens School and Southern Cross Campus.
An extra $20.7 million will be invested in the redevelopment of Macleans College in Bucklands Beach, Auckland, Education Minister Hekia Parata announced today.
“This additional funding will increase the Government’s total investment in the college’s makeover to more than $38 million,” says Ms Parata.
As part of redevelopment work that began in 2010, twelve blocks comprising 55 teaching spaces and a gymnasium have been remediated.
“The investment I’ve announced today will fund new technical, technology, science and general teaching blocks, as well as upgrading of the auditorium and administration area,” says Ms Parata.
“This additional investment is needed because property issues that have affected the school, such as lack of weathertightness, have proved broader in scope than originally identified.
“I’d like to acknowledge the Board of Trustees for working closely with the Ministry of Education to address issues and develop plans for the school’s future.
“Macleans College is an important school in the local education network, and this significant investment will ensure it provides modern facilities that inspire students to succeed to the best of their abilities.”
Macleans College is currently in discussions about their potential involvement in a local Community of Learning (CoL). CoLs are about increasing student achievement by schools working together to share expertise and lift the quality of teaching and learning.
Two New Zealand principals will have the chance to lead schools in South Australia as part of a trans-Tasman exchange programme, says Education Minister Hekia Parata.
“The South Australia/New Zealand Principal Exchange programme is the first of its kind and offers principals an exciting opportunity to experience leading a school in a different jurisdiction,” says Ms Parata.
The exchange programme was established jointly by the Ministry of Education and the South Australian Department for Education and Child Development. Two placements are available each year, one for a primary principal and one for a secondary principal. For one term, New Zealand principals will exchange schools with a principal of a South Australian school that has a similar roll to their own school.
The first exchange took place in Term Three this year and saw Steve Berezowski from Te Wharau School in Gisborne swap schools with Tracey Davies from Richmond Primary School in Adelaide.
“The principals and their schools have all learned and benefitted from the challenges, opportunities and insights offered by the exchange,” says Ms Parata.
“New Zealand has some of the best principals in the world and it’s important that we continue to support their professional development. This exchange will allow successful applicants to build on their leadership experience and bring back new ideas and skills.”
Applications close on Monday 27 February. Information about the exchange and how to apply can be found here.
To read more about the first exchange, click here.
Education Minister Hekia Parata has welcomed the results of an international study that shows New Zealand has consolidated its place in the top half of the OECD.
The three yearly cycle of the Programme of International Student Achievement (PISA) ranks 70 countries and education systems based on a one-day snapshot of 15 year olds across reading, mathematics and science.
“I am pleased to see that the fall in rankings recorded in the 2012 results has stabilised and improved. New Zealand is now notably ranked 10th for reading up from 13th, is up two places from 23rd to 21st for maths, and has significantly improved in science from 18th to 12th”,” Ms Parata says.
PISA (2015) also reports that New Zealand has one of the highest international proportions of all round top achievers in all three subjects at six per cent compared with the OECD average of four per cent.
Furthermore, 20 per cent of all New Zealand students assessed are among the top performers in at least one of these subjects. This is better than the OECD average of 15 per cent.
“I’m very proud of our students who achieved these excellent results, but it is balanced by my concern that we still have far too many in the lowest performing cohort and we see little shift in Maori and Pasifika from this group. So we have more to do,” Ms Parata says.
“PISA is an important contribution to the indicators that tell us how well we are doing compared to the rest of the world. Other education systems are striving just as hard as us to improve and PISA reflects that dynamic. This latest report shows that while New Zealand has stabilised and improved its ranking, other systems have fallen.
“Our science and reading rankings place New Zealand students above countries like Australia, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States,” Ms Parata says.
“PISA findings give us a snapshot at a point in time in 2015 telling us how students can apply what they know, and how that compares with other 15 year olds around the world on that day.
“It is part of a bigger picture, which in New Zealand includes NCEA. Last year was a record year for NCEA Level 1 achievement rates, which is the same year group as PISA.”
Similar to the Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) released last week, PISA highlights that there is still more work to do to lift the achievement levels of all students, and Māori and Pasifika students in particular who, on average, have lower rates of achievement than other ethnic groups.
“We are making significant progress in both excellence and equity, and my work programme will continue to build on these next year. This will include directly targeting operational funding to students most at risk of educational underachievement, better and more consistent use of data, targeted professional learning and development and a review of decile funding,” Ms Parata says.
“We also want to help more of our students and teachers by extending the educational success we have in many of our schools into every school. Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako are key to this goal being achieved as they can turn best practise into common practise through the sharing of expert teaching, technical subject knowledge, leadership, and resources.
“Almost half a million kids are benefitting from their school being part of Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako. That’s 60 per cent of all New Zealand’s schools now working together to raise student achievement and provide a full pathway for students from early childhood through to senior secondary and tertiary education.”
Education Minister Hekia Parata is encouraging graduates in high-demand teaching subjects to put their names forward for the 2017 Science, Technology and Maths Secondary Scholarships.
“The scholarships are a great opportunity for graduates wanting to become secondary teachers in the sciences, technology or maths (STM) subjects,” says Ms Parata.
“Science, technology and maths teachers are in high demand and we want to attract top graduates who can pass on their passion for these subjects to our secondary school students.”
Ms Parata says New Zealand has the overall right number of teachers, but not necessarily in the areas or subjects that we need them in.
“That’s why our Government is offering 100 graduates this scholarship opportunity, which could lead them to a new, exciting and challenging STM career,” she says.
“These scholarships are just one way the Government is working with principals and the education sector to identify solutions to teacher supply.
“In August I announced a $9 million package to increase the number of teachers in high-demand subjects and locations. This included funding for the STM Secondary Scholarships.
“We are also undertaking a $1 million national and international recruitment campaign focused on bringing Kiwi teachers back home.
“Together these initiatives will help to ease pressure.”
Applications for 2017 STM Scholarships close on 7 February 2017. More information, including how to apply, can be found here.
Education Minister Hekia Parata and Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga today welcomed the release of dual language resources for Pasifika new entrant students.
The resources comprise 100 dual-language flip books, audio and online resources in five Pasifika languages – Samoan, Tongan, Tokelauan, Cook Islands Māori and Niuean – and English, as well as supporting materials for teachers and parents.
“These resources will help our youngest Pasifika students to thrive and succeed at school. They are designed to build on the strengths of Pasifika new entrants’ existing language skills to support the development of their English language and literacy skills, and their transition to English medium schools,” says Ms Parata.
“Maintaining their language and using it alongside English will help Pasifika children reach their full potential. The bonus is that as well as improving their English, these resources help Pasifika children stay connected to their culture, history and heritage,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.
“Development of these resources has already resulted in wonderful collaboration between the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, the University of Auckland and the Pacific community.”
“I know that there has been considerable excitement building among the Pasifika community and Pasifika teachers over the life of this project, so I am delighted that these resources are now available,” says Ms Parata.
Prior to today’s release, a selection of the resources was piloted in seven South Auckland schools by a team of academics led by Dr Rae Si’ilata.
The pilot found that students’ achievement, confidence and self-esteem in English language and literacy increased after six months at school, while teachers reported gaining valuable insights into how to further develop their literacy and language teaching skills.
Parent fono trials were also held in clusters of Auckland schools, led by Pasifika languages consultant Patisepa Tuafuti. These trials received high praise from schools, parents and students who responded enthusiastically to being able to share and learn new ideas about language and literacy in a culturally responsive way.
The Pasifika dual language resources can be ordered free of charge from the Ministry of Education’s Down the Back of the Chair catalogue and online from the Ministry’s Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI) web platform.
Almost half a million kids are now benefitting from their school being part of Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako, says Education Minister Hekia Parata.
“Another 32 Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako have now been approved, taking the total to 180 across every region of the country,” says Ms Parata.
“This is great news because it means that just two years into the four-year roll-out of this ground-breaking programme, 1503 schools are involved in Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako. That’s 60 per cent of all New Zealand schools working together to raise student achievement.
“In addition, we now have 95 early childhood education services involved in Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako, and, for the first time, three tertiary education providers have joined.
“It is tremendous to see Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako growing, not just in numbers but in providing a full pathway for students from early childhood through to senior secondary and tertiary education. This is about every child and young person getting a great education, every day.”
Of the Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako that have already been established, 46 have had their achievement challenges endorsed and more than 50 have appointed principals to the new leadership role. In addition over 460 teachers have been appointed to new teaching roles, but Ms Parata says she is keen to see more.
To help people find Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako in their area and find out more about them, a new online tool has been launched.
“The new Know Your CoL tool profiles each Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako and has useful information such as achievement data for the specific Communities,” says Ms Parata.
Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako are funded through the Government’s $359 million Investing in Educational Success initiative which is aimed at lifting student achievement as well as offering new career opportunities for teachers and principals.
The Know Your CoL tool is available on the Ministry of Education’s Education Counts website.
More information about Communities of Learning can be found here.
New Communities of Learning
Name of CoL
Number of schools / ECE / Tertiary
Number of students
Hokianga Community of Learning
Farm Cove Community of Learning
Mt Albert Community of Learning
Otāhuhu Community of Learning
Papakura Kōtuitui Community of Learning
Tuakau Community of Learning
Waiorea Community of Learning
Coromandel Community of Learning
Ngāruawāhia Community of Learning
Waikato/Bay of Plenty Christian Non-Denominational Community of Learning
Hawkes Bay – Tairāwhiti
Hastings East Community of Learning
Hastings West Community of Learning
Ruahine Community of Learning
Te Angi Angi Community of Learning
Te Kāhui Ako o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Porou
Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu
Central New Plymouth Community of Learning
Lower North Island Christian Schools Community of Learning
Palmerston North City and Rural Schools Community of Learning One
Palmerston North City and Rural Schools Community of Learning Two
South Taranaki – Hawera Community of Learning
South Taranaki – Patea Community of Learning
Taihape Community of Learning
Te Hononga Kāhui Kura – Kāhui Ako
Capital City Community of Learning
Wellington East Faith Based Community of Learning
Christchurch Christian Community of Learning
North Timaru Community of Learning
Ōtākaro Community of Learning
Riccarton Community of Learning
South Christchurch Community of Learning
South Timaru Community of Learning
Tokomairiro Community of Learning
*As some schools are joining more than one new CoL, school totals will not add up down the table
Education Minister Hekia Parata today welcomed the completion of the project to provide schools with fast, uncapped, Crown-funded internet.
“A total of 2431 schools are now connected to the $211 million N4L Managed Network, says Ms Parata.
“This is about providing schools and students across New Zealand with access to the vast world of learning resources available online.”
With the rollout completed, more than 789,000 students and teachers are using the N4L Managed Network for learning.
“This was a very successful project given it involved a large-scale rollout that was completed ahead of schedule and within budget,” says Ms Parata.
“I’d like to acknowledge the N4L team who embraced the project with passion and commitment, and were very responsive to the needs of individual schools.
“Young people today are globally connected like never before, and it’s important we equip them to become confident, connected, lifelong learners.”
N4L’s focus will now turn to enhancing services and developing new platforms to help schools make the most of their digital connections.
A funding increase for the Wireless School Network Upgrade Project (WSNUP) will see $1 million provided towards retrofitting wireless technology at 34 state-integrated schools, Education Minister Hekia Parata announced today.
“This is about schools having the digital infrastructure they need to make the most of online resources for learning,” says Ms Parata.
In 2014, WSNUP was set up to retrofit wireless technology to schools that had not received wireless as part of the School Network Upgrade Project (SNUP).
SNUP was a $280 million project, completed earlier this year, to upgrade core IT infrastructure such as switches and cabling.
“Today’s announcement comes on top of $8 million announced in April to help retrofit wireless technology to almost 400 state schools around New Zealand,” says Ms Parata.
“The additional $1 million funding for state-integrated schools takes the total number of schools benefitting from the WSNUP project to around 850.
“Through this multi-million dollar investment, we’re enabling students to have access to the online world for learning, no matter where they go to school.”
“I am encouraged by the latest TIMSS results and I want to congratulate students, parents, teachers and schools for their hard work. I want to also make special mention of the Year 5 science students, who were the stand-out achievers for taking their score from 497 to 506,” Ms Parata says.
TIMSS shows that all other average scores have not only stabilised, but increased from the previous cycle. Year 9 girls markedly improved their scores, while Year 5 and Year 9 maths students scored 491 and 493 respectively. This result sits comfortably above the intermediate international benchmark of 475 and is climbing towards the high benchmark.
The report highlights that there is still more work to do to lift the achievement levels of Maori and Pasifika students which are still, on average, not as strong as their classmates.
“Although the gap between our top performers and our lowest has closed significantly in recent years, it is still too wide,” Ms Parata says.
“Next year, for the first time, our Government is targeting operational funding to students most at risk of educational underachievement as part of our investment to address this gap.”
TIMSS also reinforced the confident and positive attitude many children have towards schooling. Ninety per cent of Year 5 students reported they feel positive about school, teachers and their classmates. This was in-light of 60 per cent of those same students reporting that they had experienced some form of bullying behaviour monthly or more.
“The longstanding issue of bullying remains an ugly and unwanted presence in our schools, but I am optimistic for the future. There’s been a lot of work since TIMSS conducted its survey in 2014 to address bullying in schools. For example, new guidelines on cyberbullying have been made available to all schools, while the Harmful Digital Communications Act also came into force in 2015,” Ms Parata says.
“In 2017 the cross-sector Bullying Prevention Advisory Group will release a Bullying-free New Zealand School Toolkit, following on from its 2016 launch of a new bullying prevention website for schools and their communities, www.bullyingfree.nz.
“TIMSS has highlighted areas we are working hard to improve, but I am pleased it has reflected some of the hard work being done in other important areas of education”.
Highlights include student access to digital technologies being the highest out of all the TIMSS countries. Furthermore, the push to get more children into early childhood education is reaping gains with results showing that Year 5 students who had attended ECE for more than a year had higher levels of achievement.
“We are very close to hitting our Better Public Service Target of 98 per cent of our youngest learners engaging in ECE, and the data shows how important this is for future achievement”, Ms Parata says. Note to editors TIMSS is an international comparative study of student achievement. It is conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), an independent international co-operative of national research institutions and government agencies. Fifty-five countries participated in TIMSS 2015.