Toolkit equips school leavers for the world

  • Hon Chris Hipkins

School Leavers will get the core skills and knowledge they need to help launch their post-school lives, with the School Leavers’ Toolkit, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.

“We need to make sure all our young people can leave school with the skills they need to get on in life and avoid common pitfalls that can easily trip them up. It shouldn’t be left to chance,” Chris Hipkins said.

“We want to make sure children and young people know and understand how money works, and how to have their say in our democracy.

“The Toolkit will provide easy to find – and understand – advice and information on how to set up a bank account, and learn about compound interest and debt.

“It will also provide civics education and advice on what to expect when moving into a flat, when applying for a job and enrolling in further study or training, and in other areas that will add to students’ personal and financial wellbeing and sense of connection to the community.”       

“It’s important to have all this useful information in one place and of a high and consistent standard. We’ve enlisted students to road-test the toolkit, and partners including Worksafe, MBIE, the Commission for Financial Capability, the Electoral Commission, and the Bankers’ Association to get the content right.

“This is just a starting point. Now we’ve got the toolkit up and running we’ll be looking to add education resources in other areas that will benefit school leavers.”

The toolkit also provides options and support for teachers to incorporate this learning into their day to day classroom teaching, Chris Hipkins said.

It clarifies and makes it easier to teach aspects of the National Curriculum that are important for every student to learn. It also provides a website for schools and kura with resources aligned to the National Curriculum, to support teachers to include financial literacy and civics education, further into their classes.

The Studyit website for secondary students has also been refreshed.


School Leavers’ Toolkit:

Study support:

Teacher resources:



What is the School Leavers’ Toolkit?

The School Leavers’ Toolkit (Toolkit) responds to the need, identified by the Future of Work Commission, to “do better in giving young people the practical skills that they need, in the workplace, in their day-to-day lives, and as members of the community.” The Toolkit will support students with learning key workplace competencies, financial literacy, civics, and personal wellbeing before they leave school.

What does this mean for teachers and students?

The School Leavers’ Toolkit will provide teachers with tools and resources to integrate Toolkit subject areas into their local curriculum. Through the Toolkit students are able to find the information they need to become active participants in New Zealand society.

Teachers are encouraged and will be supported to embed Toolkit resources into local curriculum. Resources are being developed to support this. A curriculum integration tool and training for teachers will be provided to support the integration of the Toolkit into local curriculum.

Who has been involved in the Toolkit’s creation?

We engaged with a wide range of students, and school and kura staff via focus groups and workshop. During these engagements, students told us that personal wellbeing should be included in the Toolkit. Students also wanted their own website with easily accessible content.

We also worked with tertiary organisations and employers to understand what a successful Toolkit programme would look like for them.

To develop the content for the Toolkit, we partnered with a range of government and non-government subject matter experts, including Worksafe, MBIE, the Commission for Financial Capability and the Bankers’ Association.

What is planned for Phase Two of the School Leavers’ Toolkit?

For the remainder of 2019 and through to June 2020, we are developing new tools and resources for students and teachers (in both English and te reo Māori). These will be released on to the student and teacher facing websites as they become available.

We are also exploring options for students to earn digital badges the Toolkit content so students can easily display to employers, their communities and tertiary the skills and capabilities they have acquired.

Will the School Leavers’ Toolkit be compulsory?

The Toolkit provides a range of options for students to access the learning needed to transition successfully into life after school. It provides resources that schools can use from year 7 to support all students to gain these critical skills and competencies.

Schools may choose to integrate Toolkit learning into existing subjects or offer it as part of a transition or life skills course that sits alongside traditional subject learning.

Ultimately schools and kura are able to choose how to use the Toolkit in the way that best suits their students and school community.

How many students will participate in the School Leavers’ Toolkit in 2020?

All schools and kura can access School Leavers’ Toolkit resources.

What is the relationship between the School Leavers’ Toolkit and the NCEA?

Many schools and kura are already using the Toolkit topic areas as a context for delivering the National Curriculum. Where the Toolkit topic areas are integrated into senior secondary school subjects, for example, wellbeing into Health and Physical Education, they may be assessed using standards and contribute towards NCEA.

How does this connect with Studyit?

The School leavers’ Toolkit sits alongside Studyit. Studyit focuses on providing students with information on study skills and support for NCEA English, Maths and Science. The Toolkit student website provides key information to help young people navigate pathways from school and into further education, training or employment.

If my school doesn’t offer the Toolkit will I/ my kids miss out?

Students can access information on the student-facing Toolkit website, to acquire skills and knowledge to help them contribute to their communities and the economy.  We are encouraging schools to embed these areas into their local curriculum, as communities and employers are crying out for these capabilities in our young people.

What is happening with driver training?

The Government takes an all-of-government approach to expanding driver education and training.

The School Leavers Toolkit is focused on providing curriculum resource – this initial launch deals with financial literacy, civics, rental rights and further areas. More on driver education will be added to the toolkit in the near future.

Ministers Martin and Jackson are leading the work programme to expand access to driver training and are taking a broader community-based approach. There are multiple community and agency programmes supporting secondary students in schools and those not in education, employment or training in communities, and the Toolkit will support it.

The Government currently spends more than $10s of millions on providing driving training in the community.  

How does the School Leavers’ Toolkit work?

The Toolkit provides tools and resources for both students and teachers to support the teaching and learning of financial literacy, civics, key workplace competencies and personal wellbeing.

The student-facing website enables students to access information that they need – in their own time – to gain skills and knowledge in these topics. The website can help students to understand key information such as how to enrol for further education and training, and what to look out for when they go flatting. Acquiring these skills and capabilities shouldn’t be left to chance – and the website allows learners to increase their knowledge, and launch their lives as confident and active participants in New Zealand society and our economy.

The Schools-facing website also provides options and support for teachers to incorporate this learning into their day to day classroom teaching. The Toolkit clarifies and makes it easier to teach aspects of the National Curriculum that are important for every student to learn.

Whānau are also encouraged to look through the student-facing website with their rangitahi to help them on their learning journey.