New Zealand’s educational context
Students: New Zealand has been a top PISA performer since 2000, with students performing above the OECD average in reading, science and mathematics. New Zealand has an inclusive early childhood education curriculum, national standards, comprehensive schooling until the age of 16, low levels of grade repetition, and flexible options in upper secondary education.
Key policy issues
The average impact of socio-economic background on student’s performance is above the OECD average, and large performance and completion gaps persist within the student population. Moreover, Māori and Pasifika students represent more than one-third of the student population, and diversity of the student population is increasing, while they face lower outcomes and may be less likely to complete their secondary education. System-level policies, schools and post-secondary schools should focus on improving the educational success of students from diverse backgrounds and delivering quality education across all schools.
Recent policy responses
Recent policies have focused on developing specific plans to support Māori and Pasifika students’ performance, including the Pasifika Education Strategy, a Māori Education Strategy and specific Māori-medium education. A recent reform is looking to provide more choice for students through the development of new partnership schools, which will need to be managed to ensure equity.
New Zealand achieves higher-than-average scores in PISA 2009 (521 mean score compared to the OECD average of 493) and the impact of socio-economic status on attainment (17%) was higher than the OECD average of 14% (see interactive chart below).
Secondary education attainment in New Zealand is lower than the OECD average while tertiary education is higher (Figure 2). 80% of 25-34 year-olds have attained secondary education (compared to the OECD average of 82%), and 46% have attained tertiary education (compared to the OECD average of 39%).
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Permanent URL: www.oecd.org/edu/policyoutlook.htm
OECD work on education: www.oecd.org/education