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All schools should be great places to learn. We’re resetting the system that governs, manages, administers and supports schools so that all learners get the same chance to succeed.

Thirty years ago, the Tomorrow’s Schools reforms changed New Zealand’s schooling system, creating a system intended to better engage parents, whānau and communities with their local schools.

While the current system has strengths, it is inadequately serving some of our learners, in particular Māori, Pacific, people with disabilities and/or learning needs and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Now, New Zealand has the opportunity to reset the education system with a greater level of resource and expertise at the front line where it is needed.

This reset is significant. Changes will require ongoing investment of time and resource, and will need to be managed in a coherent and connected way over the next ten years.

Identity, Language and Culture

During the Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, in our Pacific fono, and in discussions on Tomorrow’s Schools, many Pacific teachers, learners, parents, families and board members told us that education should develop practical life skills, critical thinking, and a strong sense of identity and culture in Pacific learners.

Pacific participants also noted that racism, low educator expectations, bias and bullying were negatively impacting on Pacific learners’ success and wellbeing, and that Pacific languages, practices and histories need incorporating into the education system. 

Changes of interest to Pacific learners

  • The Government’s changes will strengthen Pacific parents and communities engagement in the education of their children and young people. The Ministry will work, in consultation with Pacific communities, on how this will be achieved in practice.
  • The new Education Service Agency will be mandated to ensure that all schools are supporting equity and excellence for all learners, including Pacific learners.
  • Every school will be able to access the localised supports, resources and expertise they need, when they need them. This will ensure that, for Pacific parents and communities educational success is within reach for more Pacific children and young people.
  • Delivering more supports and resources to schools at a local level will ensure schools will be more responsive to the needs of Pacific learners and their families, including respect for, and responsiveness to, their culture and identity.
  • The changes are particularly focussed on success for all groups of students that have not traditionally been well served by the current system, which includes Pacific learners.

What’s next?

The Government acknowledges that this is a significant change to further strengthen the education system. Changes related to governance and management of schools need to work in a complex system that also includes early learning and tertiary education. They will require ongoing investment of time and resource, and will need to be managed in a coherent and connected way over the next ten years.

A detailed timeline can be found in Appendix 1 of the Government’s position document, Supporting all schools to succeed: Reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system.

Full report: Supporting all schools to succeed: Reform of Tomorrow’s Schools system [PDF 2MB]

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Information for Pacific education stakeholders PDF 746KB