A Review of the Education External Evaluation Services

Brian Donnelly Education Review Office


The National Educational Guidelines have three components:

  • the National Education Goals
  • the National Curriculum Statements
  • the National Administration Guidelines

The National Education Goals

These are the Government's goals for the New Zealand state education system, expressed as statements of desirable achievements for schools to work towards. They:

  • emphasise the significance of a broad and balanced curriculum in student achievement and development
  • recognise the importance of equal educational opportunities for all
  • acknowledge the vital role of parents as children's first teachers
  • stress the significance of establishing clear objectives for students' learning and of using appropriate assessment procedures
  • require particular consideration of those with special needs
  • reinforce the place of an internationally acknowledged qualification system
  • encourage respect for the ethnic diversity of New Zealand
  • contain specific references to Maori students and Maori initiatives.

The ten goals are:

  1. The highest standards
    of achievement, through programmes which enable all students to realise
    their full potential as individuals, and to develop the values needed
    to become full members of New Zealand society.
  2. Equality of education
    opportunity for all New Zealanders, by identifying and removing barriers
    to achievement.
  3. Development of the
    knowledge, understanding and skills needed by New Zealanders to compete
    successfully in the modern, ever-changing world.
  4. A sound foundation
    in the early years for future learning and achievement through programmes
    which included support for parents in their vital role as their children's
    first teachers.
  5. A broad education
    through a balanced curriculum covering essential learning areas with
    high levels of competence in basic literacy and numeracy, science and
  6. Excellence achieved
    through the establishment of clear learning objectives, monitoring student
    performance against those objectives, and programmes to meet individual
  7. Success in their
    learning for those with special needs by ensuring that they are identified
    and receive appropriate support.
  8. Access for students
    to a nationally and internationally recognised qualifications system
    to encourage a high level of participation in post-school education
    in New Zealand.
  9. Increased participation
    and success by Maori through the achievement of Maori education initiatives,
    including education in Te Reo Maori, consistent with the principles
    of the Treaty of Waitangi.
  10. Respect for the
    diverse ethnic and cultural heritage of New Zealand people, with acknowledgement
    of the unique place of Maori, and New Zealand's role in the Pacific
    and as a member of the international community of nations.

Curriculum Statements

National curriculum statements
are based on The New Zealand Curriculum Framework which was published
in 1993. This document states the principles that give direction
to all teaching and learning, identifies essential learning areas and
essential skills for all students and indicates the place of attitudes
and values in the school curriculum. There are seven essential
learning areas:

  • Language and Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Social Sciences
  • The Arts
  • Health and Physical

It is intended that there will
be one national curriculum statement for each essential learning area.
A parallel series of national curriculum statements is being developed
for students who learn through the medium of the Maori language.

National curriculum statements
are statements of the desirable levels of knowledge, understanding,
and skills that all students must have the opportunity to achieve.
They specify achievement objectives for eight levels, and they also
include suggested learning and assessment examples that could be included
in school programmes.

As at January 1997, the following
statements have been prepared:

  • Mathematics in
    the New Zealand Curriculum (1992)
  • Science in the
    New Zealand Curriculum (1993)
  • English in the
    New Zealand Curriculum (1994)
  • Technology in
    the New Zealand Curriculum (1995)
  • Social Studies
    in the New Zealand Curriculum (draft 1996)

Parallel statements for students
who learn in Maori:

  • Pangarau i roto
    i te Marautanga o Aotearoa (1996)
  • Putaiao i roto
    i te Marautanga o Aotearoa (1996)
  • Te Reo Maori i
    roto i te Marautanga o Aotearoa (1996)
  • Tikanga-a-iwi
    i roto i te Marautanga o Aotearoa (draft 1997)

Administration Guidelines

The National Administration
Guidelines are addressed to boards of trustees and they list requirements
that are fundamentally for the benefit of students. They support
learning and assist schools to work towards the National Education Goals
by encouraging boards and principals to follow sound governance and
management principles.

The National Administration
Guidelines provide direction in six areas of school operations:

  • curriculum requirements
  • employer responsibilities
  • financial and
    property management
  • documentation
    and self-review
  • health and safety
  • administration

Further details on the National
Administration Guidelines are found in the relevant legislation, appropriate
contracts of employment, property occupancy documents and, from time
to time, guidelines promulgated by the Secretary for Education.
The following guidelines were published in the New Zealand Gazette no.
58, 1993.

  1. Boards of Trustees
    must foster student achievement by providing a balanced curriculum in
    accordance with the National Curriculum Statements. In order to
    provide a balanced programme, each Board, through the Principal and
    staff, will be required to:
    1. implement learning
      programmes based upon the underlying principles, the stated essential
      learning areas and skills, and the national achievement objectives;
    2. monitor student
      progress against the national achievement objectives; and
    3. analyse barriers
      to learning and achievement; and
    4. develop and implement
      strategies which address identified learning needs in order to overcome
      barriers to students' learning; and
    5. assess student achievement,
      maintain individual records and report on student progress; and
    6. provide appropriate
      career information and guidance for all students, with a particular
      emphasis on specific career guidance for those students who, nearing
      the end of their schooling, are at risk of becoming unemployed.
  2. According to the
    legislation on employment and personnel matters, each Board of Trustees
    is required in particular to:
    1. develop and implement
      personnel and industrial policies, within policy and procedural frameworks
      set by the Government from time to time, which promotes high levels
      of staff performance, use the educational resources effectively and
      recognise the needs of students;
    2. be a good employer
      as defined in the State Sector Act 1988 and comply with the conditions
      contained in employment contracts applying to teaching and non-teaching
  3. According to legislation
    on financial and property matter, each Board of Trustees is also required
    in particular to:
    1. allocate funds to
      reflect the school's priorities as stated in the Charter;
    2. monitor and control
      school expenditure, and ensure that annual accounts are prepared and
      audited as required by the Public Finance Act 1989 and the Education
      Act 1989;
    3. comply with the
      negotiated conditions of any current asset management agreement, and
      implement a maintenance programme to ensure that the school's building
      and facilities provide a safe, healthy learning environment for students.
  4. Each Board of Trustees
    is also required to:
    1. document how the
      National Education Guidelines are being implements;
    2. maintain an ongoing
      programme of self-review.
  5. Each Board of Trustees
    is also required to:
    1. provide a safe physical
      and emotional environment for students;
    2. comply in full with
      any legislation currently in force or that may be developed to ensure
      the safety of students and employed.
  6. Each Board of Trustees
    is also expected to comply with all general legislation concerning requirements
    such as attendance, the length of the school day, and the length of
    the school year.