Early stage roll-outs for Te Rito – student information sharing

Two early stage roll-outs - to design, develop and test the potential for a national learner repository - are a milestone in the drive to share student information as they transition between schools.

Work is underway on the first stages of Te Rito (Student Information Sharing - formerly known as SISI), involving one Kāhui Ako (Community of Learning) in the Edgecumbe/Kawerau area, and the Rosehill Intermediate Technology Centre and its client schools in Papakura, South Auckland.

CoreFour Inc, an educational software provider based in Toronto, Canada, and its cloud-based Edsby ® platform, were welcomed to New Zealand with a pōwhiri recently.  The Ministry of Education contracted CoreFour late last year to deliver the first two early stage roll-outs, which are expected to be completed in term three of 2019.Minister Martin and members of the Te Rito project team outside Pipitea Marae

“This testing is a milestone in the journey to ensure critical learner information travels seamlessly with students as they transition schools,” says Dr Craig Jones, the Ministry of Education’s Deputy Secretary of Evidence, Data and Knowledge.

Improved storage, management and flow of data - or learner information - is central to the implementation of improvements under the broad education reviews currently being consulted on, he says.

“I want to acknowledge the significant input that Te Rau Whakatupu – Māori  and Te Rau Whakatupu – Auraki  (Māori-medium and English-medium working groups) are making to this project, through the initial scoping phases, regular workshops, and now the early stage rollout testing and implementation.”

Te Rito is intended to save schools and teachers time in chasing down critical learner information from a student’s previous school.

“It is also intended to help students settle more quickly into their new school as they get the support and assistance they need from the start.”

Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin spoke about how Te Rito meant learners will be “known and we won’t lose them”.

“Parents say to me ‘we’re tired of having to re-explain to schools what our children need’.

“The real potential for Te Rito is the capacity to use the information that we already know, and the relationships we already have, and bring it up to a level where we have a picture across the country – for the benefit of our children.”

Te Ara Whānui Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Kōhanga Reo o Te Awa Kairangi kapa haka

Te Rau Whakatupu – Māori member Myles Ferris, who is the President of the Te Akatea Māori Principals Association, says he’s excited about the process: “This is about understanding the importance of language, culture and identity for learners.  This project has the potential to enhance the education outcomes for Māori by increasing whānau engagement”.

Dr Jones says the national repository is designed to be a sector asset, and it will be configured with the privacy and access rules co-designed with schools at its heart, to support the Te Rito guiding principle - Me tiaki te mana o te tamaiti me tōna whānau,which can be translated as protect and uphold the mana of the child and their whānau. 

The project team has developed a Privacy and Access Model in conjunction with schools, which focusses on secure and authorised access to repository data. One of the preferred features of the Edsby platform is the flexibility of its permissions and access control model.

Dr Jones says the early stage roll-outs are off to a good start. The Pūtauaki Ki Rangitaiki Kāhui Ako, in Edgecumbe/Kawerau, is involved in the first roll-out, which aims to enable information held in multiple SMS systems, used by schools and kura in the community, to be collated and de-identified in a national repository for them to access and analyse. This is so that the community can collaborate to improve the wellbeing of their learners.

The other roll-out, involving the Rosehill Intermediate Technology Centre and client schools, in Papakura is focussing on the data exchange capability of Te Rito, centred on learner attendance and assessment information.

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