Our intentions: Looking at how the Ministry of Education uses information to address inequities in education

9 February 2023: We’re carrying out a performance audit that will look at how the Ministry of Education uses information to understand and address inequities in education.

In 2018, New Zealand was ranked 33rd out of 38 developed countries for its overall educational inequality because there are inequities in student achievement.1 This means that there can be wide variations in how well different groups of students do at school. For example, students in the same year at school can have as many as four years’ difference in what they’ve learned and what they need to know.2

The Ministry of Education needs high-quality information to address inequities and make effective policy, strategy, and investment decisions.

What we are focusing on

We will look at how well the Ministry of Education uses information to support more equitable outcomes for students in Years 1-13 at Māori-medium and English-medium schools and Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu.

To do this, we will look at how well the Ministry of Education:

  • understands the main reasons for the differences in students’ learning;
  • prepares, targets, and prioritises work to reduce these differences; and
  • ensures that its work is effective.

We will also look at how the Ministry of Education works with schools, other government departments, and other agencies to address inequities in education.

The difference we expect to make

Our work will result in a report to Parliament, which we will also publish on our website. We hope to identify where and how the Ministry might improve the information it holds and how it makes use of that information.

We expect to complete this work in mid-2023.

Please use the feedback form on the right if you’d like to speak to a staff member about this performance audit, make a suggestion, or ask a question.

1: UNICEF Office of Research (2018). An Unfair Start: Inequality in Children's Education in Rich Countries, Innocenti Report Card 15, UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, Florence.

2: See All children and young people make progress and achieve on the conversation.education.govt.nz website.