Part 2: Roles of public entities in education for Māori

Education for Māori: Context for our proposed audit work until 2017.

In this Part, we outline the work of people and public entities involved in education for Māori.

The main educational agencies are:

  • the Ministry;
  • ERO;
  • the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA);
  • the Tertiary Education Commission; and
  • ECE providers, schools, and tertiary institutions (including universities and independent training organisations).

Others with a critical role in education are:

  • professional learning and development providers;
  • the New Zealand Teachers Council, in its role of setting standards for initial teacher training and for in-service practice;
  • Careers New Zealand, in assisting school students to identify their career pathways;
  • actual and prospective employers; and
  • parents and caregivers, whānau, communities, local iwi organisations, and students.

It is and will remain crucial that these people and organisations continue to work collaboratively to improve Māori educational achievement.

Ministry of Education

The Ministry is the lead agency for the education sector. The Ministry set out in its statement of intent for 2012-2017 (SOI) its two main priorities for the next five years. These are:

Improving education outcomes: for Māori learners, Pasifika learners, learners with special education needs and learners from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Maximising the contribution of education to the New Zealand economy.6

In the SOI Foreword, the Minister of Education noted that there would be "an unrelenting focus on lifting achievement especially for our priority groups".7

Ka HikitiaManaging for Success

The Ministry introduced Ka Hikitia in 2008. From what our Advisory Group has told us, it appears soundly based and respected. In producing this strategy, the Ministry drew on research evidence to identify issues with Māori students' educational achievement and how to address those issues.8 This research included the Programme for International Student Assessment/Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports9 and other information indicating poor educational outcomes for Māori students.

Ka Hikitia identified that, to improve Māori students' achievement, a widespread shift in attitudes and practice is required throughout the education sector. There are now many initiatives and programmes to lift Māori participation, engagement, and achievement under Ka Hikitia and elsewhere in the education sector (see Appendix 3 for more information).

The Ministry's interim evaluation report to Cabinet in 2011 noted that implementing Ka Hikitia had been slower than intended. Where Ka Hikitia has been given effect, there have been statistically significant gains for Māori students. The State Services Commission's Performance Information Framework report in 2011 noted that the Ministry needed to apply greater effort to ensure that the intended outcomes of Ka Hikitia were met.10

The Ministry noted in its SOI that it intends to "refresh" Ka Hikitia with revised targets for participation, retention, and achievement for Māori students.11

The Ministry has also invested in a number of other projects and programmes that aim to lift achievement for Māori (and others). These include:

  • implementing Tau Mai e – the Māori Language in Education Strategy;
  • Te Kotahitanga (professional development for cultural responsiveness in the classroom);
  • the Student Achievement Function (for literacy and numeracy);
  • He Kākano (for professional development of school leaders and teachers towards disseminating and embedding Māori cultural pedagogical practices); and
  • Youth Guarantee programmes (providing alternative pathways between school and tertiary education or employment).

Other public entities

Education Review Office

ERO's role is to evaluate and report on the performance of schools and ECE providers, including performance in supporting Māori achievement. The frequency with which ERO reviews schools and ECE providers depends on whether ERO considers that the school's or provider's performance warrants it.

ERO's Framework for School Reviews includes an explicit focus on the performance of schools and ECE providers in raising the achievement of their Māori students.12 ERO staff told us that they will not consider reviewing a school less frequently unless the school measures and reports on the achievement of its Māori students.

ERO also provides guidance and best practice examples of management and teaching practice to help engage Māori students and support them to achieve better.

New Zealand Qualifications Authority

NZQA's Māori strategic plan Te Rautaki Māori a te Mana Tohu Mātauranga o Aotearoa 2012-2017 was approved by the NZQA Board in 2011 after consultation with iwi and Māori educationalists, and published in July 2012. It has two main goals:

  • accelerated Māori learner success; and
  • advanced use of mātauranga Māori (the knowledge systems, values, concepts, and world views of Māori).13

These two goals are intended to support Ka Hikitia's objective of "Māori achieving education success as Māori" and to:

Strengthen NZQA responsiveness to Māori learners, whānau, hap , and iwi aspirations for educational success and recognition of Mātauranga Māori.14

The implementation plan emphasises collaboration, both between agencies and with iwi, to align the system with education sector priorities for Māori and to provide relevant qualification pathways for Māori students.

Te Kura (Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, The Correspondence School)

Te Kura is the largest provider of distance education in the early childhood and compulsory sector (up to Year 13). Te Kura identifies that engaging, developing, and supporting Māori learners to succeed as Māori is critical to helping Te Kura to achieve its goals and priorities.

Te Kura's annual report for 2011 notes that Te Kura is increasingly providing education to those for whom "a face-to-face school is currently not the best option". About 61% of Te Kura's roll is made up of students in this category, rather than students living in isolated, itinerant, or overseas circumstances.

Tertiary Education Commission

The Tertiary Education Commission is working to implement the Government's Tertiary Education Strategy. This strategy has four priorities, including that of increasing the number of Māori tertiary students achieving at higher levels.15

In its statement of intent for 2012/13 to 2014/15, the Tertiary Education Commission lists "doing better for Māori and Pasifika" as an outcome it will be working to achieve. It states:

Participation rates for both Māori and Pasifika have increased recently ... but outcomes from that increased participation hasn't [sic] followed. Both Māori and Pasifika are less likely to succeed and they realise significantly lower financial returns from tertiary education.16

The Tertiary Education Commission also expects providers of tertiary education to strengthen their engagement with iwi and Māori communities.

New Zealand Teachers Council

The New Zealand Teachers Council approves programmes for initial teacher education and sets the professional standards for the teaching profession. Several professional standards for graduating teachers are relevant to the "imperative" of cultural competency, to ensure that new teachers are culturally responsive to their Māori students.17

Careers New Zealand

Careers New Zealand is the government agency responsible for leading the career development of all New Zealanders. On its website, it notes that one of its four high-level outcomes is "More Māori, Pasifika, and other target groups make successful transitions into work and learning." It has put in place a staff development programme, Te Ataahia, to equip its staff to function comfortably and competently in any cultural setting.

6: Ministry of Education, Statement of Intent 2012-2017, Wellington, pages 12 and 14.

7: Ministry of Education, Statement of Intent 2012-2017, Wellington, page 2.

8: Ministry of Education (2008), Key evidence and how we must use it to improve the system performance for Māori, Wellington.

9: Programme for International Student Assessment, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2010), Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes – New Zealand Country Background Report 2010.

10: State Services Commission (2011), Performance Improvement Framework: Formal Review of the Ministry of Education, page 39.

11: Ministry of Education, Statement of Intent 2012-2017, Wellington, page 13.

12: Education Review Office (2011), Framework for School Reviews, Wellington, page 11.

13: New Zealand Qualifications Authority (2012), Te Rautaki Māori a te Mana Tohu Mātauranga o Aotearoa 2012-2017, Wellington, page 4.

14: New Zealand Qualifications Authority (2012), Te Rautaki Māori a te Mana Tohu Mātauranga o Aotearoa 2012-2017, Wellington, pages 3-4.

15: Tertiary Education Commission (2012), Statement of Intent 2012/13-2014/15, Wellington, page 14.

16: Tertiary Education Commission (2012), Statement of Intent 2012/13-2014/15, Wellington, page 18.

17: New Zealand Teachers Council (2009), "Appendix 2, Graduating Teacher Standards", Approval, Review and Monitoring Processes and Requirements for Initial Teacher Education Programmes, Wellington.

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