Ministry of Education: Supporting professional development for teachers.

We all want young people to have a good education. Having teachers who are familiar with and using the most effective ways to teach is important for young people's learning.

The Ministry of Education has many roles in the design and operation of the parts of the education system relating to professional development for teachers. These roles range from funding providers of professional development to collecting and collating evidence of what is effective professional development for teachers.

The Ministry ably carries out these roles. However, there are aspects of the Ministry's work that could be improved. These improvements include greater coherence of its information and activities for the professional development of teachers.

My staff have estimated the Ministry's spending on professional development for teachers at more than $200 million each year. The Ministry is aware of the range of sources of funding it uses for professional development for teachers. The Ministry does not consider all of these sources as a whole when making decisions about the relative priority of initiatives or the adequacy of the funding available for professional development for teachers.

The Ministry's focus on evidence of what is effective professional development is one of the strengths of the professional development system. There is, however, potential within both the Ministry and the wider education sector for greater use of this evidence.

The Ministry identified, in its response to the draft of this report, what it proposed to do to address our recommendations. I appreciate the Ministry's commitment to preparing a work plan for addressing the concerns we have raised. I also acknowledge that some of the work the Ministry has already started should help address these concerns.

I thank the staff of the Ministry and the wide range of sector representatives who gave generously of their time and views for this performance audit.

Kevin Brady's signature.

K B Brady
Controller and Auditor-General

13 August 2008

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