Improving planning and reporting

Planning and reporting is a key way of operationalising the strategic direction of the education system.

Planning and reporting refers to the current framework through which State and State Integrated school boards are required to:

  • prepare and maintain school planning documents (including the charter)
  • report on school and student performance, including financial performance (eg the annual report).

Current planning and reporting requirements for schools are set out in the Education Act 1989 (the Act) and Gazette notices. They are complex and detailed rather than focused on what really matters. The amount of useful information provided to parents, family and whānau is limited.

The Education (Update) Amendment Bill (the Bill) proposes a new planning and reporting framework for boards that will:

  • increase accountability to parents
  • streamline the planning and reporting process
  • focus boards on what is most important.

The key features of this framework are:

two new documents (a four-year strategic plan and an annual implementation plan) to replace the charter. The two documents will have different purposes and processes but will together provide a base against which the board’s actual performance can later be assessed. 

strategic plans will reflect how the school intends to achieve the objectives for education and the government’s strategic directions, and incorporate any outcomes agreed to by any Community of Learning that the school belongs to.

the development of a new strategic plan by schools every four years in consultation with families and whānau, the school community and the school’s Māori community. The strategic plan would be assessed by the Ministry for quality rather than process requirements.

annual implementation plans that contain more detail about the school’s individual actions and targets for the following year. The implementation plan would not have to be provided to the Ministry, thus streamlining the process for schools.

the annual report will also include a short, easily-understandable financial dashboard.

these documents will all be required to be published on the school’s website to provide easier access for parents. 

the annual report will also include a short, easily-understandable financial dashboard.  

The process, content, form and timelines of the new planning and reporting documents will be included in a new set of regulations. These regulations will be developed with sector input.

National Performance Measures

The Bill proposes to establish a power for the Minister of Education to set national performance measures for boards, through a Gazette notice. The national performance measures will be a small number of key measures that reflect the objectives in the updated Act and are directly linked to a government's statement of National Education and Learning Priorities.

The content of the measures will be consulted on as part of the consultation that takes place on the development of the statement of National Education and Learning Priorities.

These measures could, for example, build on our current Better Public Service targets and National Standards reporting. In future, measures could be explored that would reflect student progress and student well-being.

School boards of trustees will report on their performance against the national performance measures in their annual reports. 

Further information

When will these changes take effect?

The clauses of the Bill that establish new planning and reporting processes, including the power to set national performance measures, will come into force by 1 January 2019 or at an earlier date specified by Order in Council. This allows sufficient time for Regulations to be circulated and for schools to make the transition to the new regime.

Who will these changes effect?

All boards of State and State integrated schools.

Why is the charter split into two new documents?

Splitting the charter allows two different ways of developing and using the documents, to increase efficiency and streamline processes. Boards, schools, and the Ministry can focus on the key strategic elements of long-term planning every four years. It also allows boards and schools to draft effective implementation plans, without the need to focus on providing them to the Ministry.

What will happen to the National Education Goals?

The National Education Goals will no longer be needed, as their contents will be covered by the new arrangements for objectives and the statement of National Education and Learning Priorities

What will happen to the National Administration Guidelines?

The National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) will remain in effect until the new planning and reporting regulations are fully enacted. This will be on 1 January 2019, or earlier by order in council.

Where will the NAG provisions unrelated to planning and reporting go?

NAG provisions that remain relevant will either be shifted to the Act or the new planning and reporting regulations, these will include requirements around curriculum statements, career guidance, National Standards and secondary qualifications.

Will I be able to provide comment on the details of the new planning and reporting framework?

The Ministry of Education will lead a public consultation process during the development of the new regulations during 2017-18, if the proposals in the Bill are enacted. 

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