he pitopito kōrero

He Pitopito Kōrero
Issue 174

03 April 2024
he pitopito kōrero

He Pitopito Kōrero

Issue 174
03 April 2024

Kia ora koutou,

This is the last bulletin before school holidays. Thank you for your mahi in Term 1 – it certainly has been a busy one!

I hope you were able to treat yourself over Easter weekend and that you had an enjoyable, refreshing break.

Ngā mihi 


Term 4 attendance reports to be released 12 April

On 12 April attendance reports and data for Term 4 2023 will be available here:

Attendance – Education Counts

These termly reports were refreshed last year and the three reports cover: 

  • regular attendance
  • reasons for student absence
  • school response to absence. 

Phones away for the day

Frequently asked questions for ākonga and whānau, and editable posters for schools are available here:

Phones away for the day: Supporting resources – Ministry of Education 

You may choose to use these resources to discuss with ākonga and whānau about what your rules are, and what they mean for them. 

A reminder that you must allow students to use or access a phone when: 

  • it is needed for health reasons (for example, to monitor insulin levels)
  • it is needed to help a student with a disability or learning support need (for example, to assist with impaired communication)
  • a teacher requires students to use phones for a specific educational task or purpose (for example, for a class assignment)
  • the principal decides that they are needed for special circumstances (for example, the student is a parent).

You will need to determine how to manage and apply these exemptions. 

Safety checking children’s workers who have been living overseas

School boards are responsible under the Children’s (Requirements for Safety Checks of Children’s Workers) Regulations 2015 for safety checking people considered children’s workers. 

Children’s (Requirements for Safety Checks of Children’s Workers) Regulations 2015 – New Zealand Legislation

Definitions in Children’s Act 2014 [PDF, 101 KB]

The Children’s Act 2014 includes a workforce restriction making it unlawful for schools | kura to employ a core children’s worker who has an offence specified in the Act unless the person has obtained an exemption from the core worker exemption scheme managed by Te Kāhui Kāhu.

Children’s Act 2014: Workplace restriction – New Zealand Legislation

Children’s Act 2014: Specified offences – New Zealand Legislation

Core worker exemptions – Te Kāhui Kāhu

The workforce restriction only applies to New Zealand crimes. It’s particularly important to gather information regarding prospective staff who have been living overseas, so that an effective risk assessment can be completed. 

The Teaching Council’s registration processes include an overseas police clearance for teachers who have been living overseas. For other children’s workers who are not registered teachers, best practice is to ask candidates if they’ve lived or worked overseas for 12 months or longer, and to require vets for every country they’ve lived in for more than 12 months. 

Our guidance has steps you can take to support robust decision-making as part of your risk assessment. This includes advice on conducting overseas checks. See page 30 in this document:

Guidance on implementing the Children’s Act – Ministry of Education

If you have questions about safety checking or Police vetting requirements, you can email School.GovernancePracticePathways@education.govt.nz.

If you have employment or HR questions related to specific staff, you can contact the New Zealand School Trustees Association:

Advice and support – New Zealand School Trustees Association | Te Whakarōputanga Kaitiaki Kura o Aotearoa

More information is available on our website:

Children’s Act 2014 requirements for schools and kura – Ministry of Education

Police vetting for schools and kura Māori – Ministry of Education

Principal eligibility criteria

Draft principal eligibility criteria were developed in August 2023 and made available for boards to use when appointing a principal | tumuaki. These may be used by boards but are optional.

Variation to Primary Principals’ (PPCBU) Collective Agreement

On 19 March, the Ministry, PPCBU and NZSTA agreed to a variation to this agreement, which gives effect to the Professional Growth Cycle for principals | tumuaki by updating clause wording in Part 4 and Schedule 2 of the PPCA-PPCBU. You can access the Agreement here: 

Primary Principals' (PPCBU) Collective Agreement 

Understanding hijab and other forms of covering in Islam: webinar

People of Muslim faith make up 1.2% of New Zealand’s population. Our refugee and migrant team will be hosting a webinar on the topic of understanding hijab and other forms of covering in Islam. There will be an opportunity for Q & A at the end of the session.

Register here: 

Wednesday 29 May, 3:30 – 4:15 pm 

Understanding Hijab and other forms of covering in Islam – Microsoft Teams 

Tuesday 4 June, 3:30 – 4:15 pm 

Understanding Hijab and other forms of covering in Islam – Microsoft Teams 

Pourato update: Staffing Roll Increase (SRI)

You can request an SRI during the year if your roll has increased and stayed at that level for 5 school days. For more information visit:

Staffing for roll growth – Ministry of Education

You will be notified by email when an SRI request has been approved, declined or withdrawn. 

The display of an SRI request has changed in Pourato:

  • An approved or declined SRI request can be viewed in the 'Requests’ tab. When additional entitlement staffing is generated, the staffing request will display the change to your entitlement staffing. 
  • Approved SRI requests will display in the ‘Your Entitlements’ and ‘Confirmed tabs. In the staffing table, the cumulative roll increase will display in ‘Entitlement Staffing’, ‘Staffing Roll’ and ‘Total’from the start date of the roll growth.
  • Declined requests will receive an outcome letter in the ‘Requests’ tab.

For details on the ‘Entitlement Staffing’ banner, payment recovery levy invoices and the ‘Previous’ tab which appears when a March (Confirmed) roll is resubmitted or audited, visit:

Pourato: Applications & Online Systems – Ministry of Education

Teacher-only day reminder

Schools | kura are considered closed for instruction during teacher-only days (TODs). The curriculum and assessment TODs set by us do not need to be made up to meet the half-day opening requirement. TODs set by boards do need to be made up. Please connect with your student management system (SMS) provider to check you can remove TODs from the calendar so that no attendance code can be entered on these days.