He Pitopito Kōrero
Update – 2 August 2022
He Pitopito Kōrero
Update – 2 August 2022
Nau mai haere mai ki te kaupeka kura tuatoru, welcome to Term 3.
Across the country, the effects of COVID-19 and winter illnesses is palpable. I know that finding relief teachers is difficult, and while this cannot be quickly addressed, I can confirm that the additional relief funding has been further extended for Terms 3 and 4 and we have made the application process simpler – responding to your feedback!
Heading into this new term, we have also worked with the Ministry of Health to develop a winter wellness guide for tamariki and rangatahi. You may wish to share this with parents and whānau.
Though we want to see ākonga present, participating and progressing in their learning, we of course recognise they cannot do that if they are sick. The information in the guide will help parents recognise whether tamariki are well enough to go to school.
I know a number of you have been contacted by very anxious parents who believe some of the disinformation that is circulating. Please reassure them that the information they have seen is not correct – for example, you can assure them that it is illegal to force someone to be vaccinated without their consent. Find further information on misinformation, disinformation and abuse below.
I know the past couple of years have been challenging and we’d like to thank you for your professionalism and endurance and take a look at the leadership and mahi ahead. On Tuesday 16 August, you are invited to hear Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti will speak on ‘navigating leadership’.
You will then be invited to a group kōrero on either Monday 22 August or Tuesday 23 August – this will be an opportunity for you to share best practice with other tumuaki in re-engaging our ākonga in their learning COVID-disrupted world. Details on the hui and how to register are below.
Additional relief funding extension and process change
Extension of non-teaching staff relief funding
Additional relief teacher funding (ARTF) continues to be available for Term 3 and 4.
The process for accessing ARTF has been redesigned for the remainder of this year to make it easier for you to receive reimbursement for the additional costs you may incur.
We are anticipating that in Term 3 and Term 4 there will be ongoing high numbers of staff absences due to COVID-19 related absences and other winter illnesses.
ARTF for teaching staff will be automatic in Terms 3 and 4
From this term until the end of the year, ARTF will be allocated directly to all schools and kura that have incurred relief teacher costs above their 2022 relief teacher funding.
For Terms 3 and 4 in 2022 you will not need to submit claims for ARTF for teaching staff. We will automatically calculate the relief costs incurred during the year and will top up funding for costs that are in excess of the relief teacher funding provided via your operational grant, less any ARTF already paid in 2022.
Schools and kura will be notified of payments. In order to ensure you receive all of the funding you are entitled to it is important that reliever costs are correctly recorded as DDR (day relief) in payroll.
Full details on how this will work, what the funding is, when the additional payments will begin and what to do about Term 1 and Term 2 ARTF applications is available on our website.
Funding extension and criteria update for non-teaching staff
Relief funding for non-teaching staff absences due to COVID-19 has also been extended to Term 3 and Term 4, and the criteria now includes cover for those suffering from long COVID.
This will remain an application-based process using the existing additional relief (ARF) process.
If you have any queries about ARF, please contact our resourcing team at email@example.com.
Winter wellness guidance
The Ministry of Health has put a range of information together to support schools manage the impacts of winter illnesses and COVID-19.
From this information we have pulled the key messages for parents, caregivers and whānau into one document which you may wish to send to your community.
Here are useful online resources from the Ministry of Health on staying healthy, which you may wish to send to parents and whānau.
Reporting positive COVID-19 cases no longer required
Thank you to everyone for reporting positive COVID-19 case numbers to us. This has been of great benefit to inform the Government’s response and understanding of patterns and level of disruption caused by the pandemic.
We know that reporting the cases created additional work for you. We can now draw on the Ministry of Health data and so can remove this requirement.
Overseas teacher recruitment update
As you know, MBIE recently introduced the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV).
Schools and kura who are looking to recruit overseas teachers must be registered with MBIE as an accredited employer prior to being able to recruit an overseas teacher.
The visa is designed to be as simple as possible for migrants relocating to Aotearoa and ensure that employers provide the required level of support to improve the resettlement experience.
A webinar explaining the visa application process is available on our website.
To support schools, kura and teachers located overseas who are interested in moving to Aotearoa, we have established a new ‘navigator’ service.
The service is designed to provide a personal support service to assist you with navigating the steps in the recruitment process. The service is not designed to provide immigration advice.
‘Navigators’ are available Monday to Friday, 9am-4.30pm by phone on 0800 165 225 or +64 446 38466 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accelerated NZQA for overseas teachers
We have worked with NZQA to prioritise the evaluation of overseas trained teachers’ qualifications.
If you have an overseas trained teacher with a confirmed job offer who is experiencing delays in having their qualifications assessed, please either advise a navigator or contact NZQA via email at QRSteaching@nzqa.govt.nz. NZQA will ensure that your application receives prompt attention.
You can also find helpful information on our website.
Reminder: Financial support if recruiting from overseas
Eligible schools and kura can now apply for financial support to help recruit qualified teaching staff from overseas.
- The overseas finder’s fee (up to $3,450 GST included) will help eligible schools and kura meet overseas teacher recruitment costs.
- The overseas relocation grant (up to $5,000 GST included) can be used to offset the cost of relocating to New Zealand for eligible overseas and returning New Zealand teachers.
To apply and see the full criteria, see the TeachNZ website.
Misinformation, disinformation and abuse
We’re aware of a number of examples of disinformation circulating currently about alleged forced vaccinations and school lockdowns, as well as formal-looking certificates that are being shared within local communities and subsequently disrupting schools.
Guidance on how to report misinformation and disinformation can be found on the Unite Against COVID-19 website including:
- if you see content on social media that you believe to be false or misleading, you can report it to the hosting social media platform
- report to Netsafe any online harm including bullying and harassment, misinformation and hate speech/extremism.
Misinformation, including leaflets and scams, can also be reported to CERT NZ.
- Contact your regional office if you are unsure if it is misinformation/disinformation.
- If you receive inappropriate contact online, you can make a non-emergency report to the police on 105. If anyone is in immediate danger, call Police on 111 straight away.
There are many legitimate sites where people can get the facts from. If you are aware of rising levels of misinformation in your community, you may wish to remind them to take care with what they share and encourage them to only go to credible sources of information.
Cease and desist letters
Cease and desist letters are a reasonably new tactic in New Zealand.
Overseas, including Australia, they are letters handed to government officials, including police, by anti-lockdown groups with the intention to intimidate.
The letters are usually worded in such a way as to avoid reaching the threshold for prosecution as the writer is ‘simply stating the facts’.
If someone receives a cease and desist letter by email, police suggest deleting it. If someone is handed a letter, you could simply decline to take it, or if you wish you could take it and dispose of it.
These persons are bound by the laws of New Zealand like anyone else and do not carry any real or implied authority.
They can be trespassed and asked to leave like any other person.
If anyone has any concerns about feeling intimidated or being approached by people holding these beliefs, please contact the police.
Community access to masks
As well as the face masks you can order for your staff and students, the Government is also increasing accessibility to masks for people in your wider community.
More masks are being provided in the community to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect people who are at higher risk of more severe illness if they contract COVID-19. You do not need to have COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms to get free masks.
You may wish to send the following information on how to access free masks to parents and whānau.
A reminder that you will find information on mask supply for schools on Te Mahau website.
Free medical masks
You can get free medical face masks by:
- picking them up from testing centres and collection points alongside your free rapid antigen tests (RATs)
- visiting a participating pharmacy
- talking to a participating GP or alternative community healthcare provider.
To order RATs online visit the Ministry of Health website.
Alternatively, if you’re unable to order RATs online or visit a participating healthcare provider in person, call 0800 222 478 and select option 3.
For a list of testing locations with free face masks visit the Health Point website.
Free P2/N95 particulate respirator masks
In addition to medical masks, P2/N95 particulate respirator masks are also available from the providers mentioned.
P2/N95 masks will be prioritised for those people at higher risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19. This includes people:
- with compromised immunity
- with high-risk medical conditions
- who are older
- who live in aged care facilities
- who are pregnant
- with a disability
- who live with mental health conditions or addictions
- of Māori and Pacific ethnicity
- who smoke.
For information about people considered at higher risk, see the Ministry of Health website.
Wellbeing webinar: Sleep, fatigue and burnout
In May we launched the Gold Star programme to support the wellbeing of staff working in education settings.
Gold Star is an online wellbeing programme hosted by EAP Services where you can access e-learning modules, self-tests, and webinars. All staff at state and state-integrated schools and kura are eligible to access the Gold Star programme free of charge.
You’re invited to join the programme’s second webinar about managing sleep, fatigue and burnout. The webinar is happening this week.
The webinar will cover:
- the effects of sleep deprivation on the body and how to better support good sleep
- what fatigue is, what causes it, and how to better recover from it
- what burnout is, what causes it, how to avoid it, and how to recover from it.
Accessing the webinar
There are two time slots available to attend the live webinar:
- tomorrow Wednesday 3 August 10–11am
- Thursday 4 August 7–8pm
A recording will be available as part of the Gold Star programme’s online resources.
To access the webinar, you will need to sign up to the Gold Star programme. You can then access the webinar and recording using the link below.
If you have any questions about the webinar email email@example.com.
We know the past couple of years have been challenging and we’d like to thank you for your professionalism and endurance and take a look at the leadership and mahi ahead.
On Tuesday 16 August, you are invited to hear Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti speak on navigating leadership in a COVID-disrupted world. You will then be invited to a group kōrero on either Monday 22 August or Tuesday 23 August – this is an opportunity for you to share your experiences and best practice with other tumuaki in re-engaging our ākonga in a COVID-disrupted world.
The kōrero will be held:
- 22 August 10–11.15am for secondary school principals and area/composite school principals
- 22 August 1–2.15pm for U1, U2, and U3 principals
- 23 August 10–11.15am for intermediate principals, U4 principals and kura kaupapa Māori principals
- 23 August 1–2.15pm for U5, U6, U7, principals
You will need to be registered by 9am Tuesday 16 August for the presentations by Minister Hipkins and Minister Tinetti.
For the group kōrero, we can take registrations on the day (22 and 23 August) but given the large numbers of principals invited we suggest you register early. This will help us allocate facilitators to break-out discussions.
Erika Ross and Steve Lindsey talk to more principals about their experiences with leading their school communities through the pandemic.
Watch these new video summaries:
You can find the series so far on the Te Mahau website:
Equity Index information sessions
Principals, boards and senior leaders are invited to attend online information sessions in August to learn more about the Equity Index prior to receiving funding notifications in September 2022. The changes to the Isolation Index will also be covered.
Information sessions will be held:
- Thursday 4 August, 7–8.30pm
- Monday 8 August, 12.30–2pm
- Wednesday 10 August, 7–8.30pm
- Tuesday 16 August, 7–8.30pm
- Thursday 18 August,12.30–2pm
Emergency planning: Bomb threats
As you will be aware, there have been several recent cases of schools receiving bomb threats.
Our emergency management plan template has been updated to provide further guidance on what to do if your school receives a bomb threat.
The plan contains a checklist that should be printed and kept by the school phone.
- During the call it is important to try and stay calm and attempt to record as much information as possible about the threat and the caller.
- After the call you should dial 111 and let the police know what has happened. They should advise you on what to do next, and whether an evacuation will be necessary.
The NZ Police also have a checklist you can use.
Further advice is available on our website.
Term 2 attendance data collection
We are currently collecting attendance data for Term 2 from all state and state-integrated schools with an electronic attendance register (eAR).
This is an important aspect of our ongoing work on tackling absenteeism and truancy. We use the evidence you provide to monitor trends, understand drivers and target resources.
To achieve the best results, we need data from as many schools as possible, including schools who have good attendance records.
If you have not yet submitted your attendance data, please create the attendance file from your student management system (SMS) for all of Term 2 and send it to us securely through the SMS. Instructions have been emailed to your administrator.
This data is due by Friday 5 August.
Thank you to all schools who have already sent their Term 2 data. You should have already received an attendance (Every Day Matters) report tailored to your school. You may find this helpful in identifying students and groups who might benefit from targeted interventions to improve attendance.
Attendance code resources to support administrators
As extra support for attendance administrators, we would like to make you aware of the resources that are available to support your school to record attendance consistently.
1. Additional guidance on the attendance codes, with example scenarios and COVID-19 related scenarios:
2. Definitions of the attendance codes:
3. Attendance code definitions in a user-friendly ‘decision tree’ format:
(Note: to use the labels, open the document in a PDF viewer and hover your mouse/cursor over the codes for information.)
4. Attendance code definitions – this version designed to be printed in A3 size in colour as a handy reference:
These resources are also available under on our website.
New pay rates for support staff and therapists
Payment of new rates for support staff and therapists as a result of the collective agreements that came into force on 20 June.
Education Payroll have informed us that the pay day for the new rates and payment of arrears is Wednesday 10 August, which effectively means that payment will be in employees’ bank accounts on Tuesday 9 August.
Employees on signed individual employment agreements will be paid as they are received from and including pay period 10.
Ongoing funding will be provided to cover the increased costs of the settled support staff and kaiārahi i te reo and therapists’ collective agreements. This funding will be paid as part of your operational grant instalments, with the first instalment scheduled for 1 October.
Full details on the support staff and kaiārahi collective agreement settlements were detailed in Circular 2022/04 available here:
Pay equity settlement guidance for administration support staff and kaiārahi i te reo
We have released the following guidance documents to support you in implementing the changes resulting from the pay equity settlements:
- funding 101 guide
- administration support staff work matrix guide
- kaiārahi i te reo work matrix guide
- administration support staff translation guides
- kaiārahi i te reo translation guide
- pay equity regrade guide.
The guidance documents include information on the ongoing pay equity funding, guidance on how to use the new work matrices, information on employees translating from the old pay rates to the new pay rates, along with guidance on pay equity regrading.
We will provide additional pay equity funding and ongoing funding required by translating covered employees from the old pay scale to the new pay equity pay scale.
The initial settlement funding instalment on 1 October will include estimated funding for covered employees, including back payment (for the period 20 August 2021 to 30 September 2022).
Following your school receiving this additional funding, the covered workforce will receive their first payment at the new pay equity rates (including payment for the period from 20 August 2021 to 30 September 2022) on Tuesday 18 October.
Further information about settlement funding can be found on our website.
Webinars and hui
To further support you in implementing the settlements, this week we will be hosting webinars with NZSTA and NZEI Te Riu Roa.
Also, from next week to mid-September, we will also host kanohi ki te kanohi hui across the motu for the kaiārahi i te reo claim.
The sessions will outline the immediate and future actions required of you, cover the guidance to support you in doing this, and highlight the additional support available to you for this process. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the sessions.
The webinars will be recorded and made available on the NZSTA website. We will add more webinars depending on demand.
Register for the webinars and hui through Eventbrite.
Wednesday 3 August, 4.30–5.30pm
Thursday 4 August, 2–3pm
Register for a kaiārahi i te reo hui
If you have any questions about the guidance, you can discuss these with the ohumahi support team. You can call 0800 114 117 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or log an enquiry on your Taku portal.
More information about the pay equity claims can be found on our website.
Updated property occupancy document
The property occupancy document (POD) has been updated and the notification published in the New Zealand Gazette. School boards must now comply with the updated POD.
The POD is a legally binding document that sets out the general roles and responsibilities of boards and the Ministry in managing land, buildings and facilities occupied by boards.
There are three main changes:
- the structure and language of the POD has been simplified to make it clearer to read and understand the board’s obligations
- sections have been updated to reference current legislation such as the Education and Training Act 2020 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
- the legal proceedings section relating to property has been updated.
Take this opportunity to refresh your understanding of obligations that apply to boards.
You can find the updated POD on our website.
School name changes
It’s important that any changes to schools’ names are approved and registered with us to ensure that stakeholders and agencies are using the correct name when referring to them or referencing them in communications or reports.
To support this, we advise that if your school board wants to change the name of your school (including adding macrons to the current name), you should talk with your education adviser.
There is a simple process you’ll need to follow – your local Te Mahau team can support your board through the steps.
Reminder: Stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions, and expulsions guidelines
A reminder when you are accessing the stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions (SSEE) guidelines that any references to the Education Act 1989 should be replaced with the relevant sections in the new Education and Training Act 2020.
You will find references to the Education Act 1989 in the two guidelines PDF documents, including the model letters provided in the appendix of Part 2: Good practice.
You will also find references to the act in any hardcopies of the guidelines you may be using.
The guidelines will be updated in 2023 to include information about the Education and Training Act 2020.
Reducing climate change risks to coastal schools
We are looking for principals from coastal schools to join a reference group as we work to understand the risks to their schools from sea level rise and flooding.
Many of the 2,100 state schools we oversee across Aotearoa are near the coast. These locations put them at potential risk from sea level rise and flooding.
Using data from a variety of sources and historical flooding information, we’ve identified 103 coastal schools – 50 in the South Island and 53 in the North Island – as ‘at risk’. Each location has different geographical conditions, and we can’t predict exactly what effect climate change will have on each location. Overall, the risks are increasing.
The coastal flood risk reference group will be composed of a small number of principals from the 103 schools. The group will:
- provide information on practical and operational matters related to schools
- raise and monitor any risks and issues
- comment on proposed planning and communications
- advise on potential concerns
- be advocates for the coastal flood risk management programme.
If you are interested in being part of the reference group, please email email@example.com with your name, school, and contact details.
We have begun conducting a pilot study of flood risks at five schools in Wellington and five schools on the West Coast of the South Island. The ten schools selected provide us with a variety of physical settings, a combination of open coast and harbour locations, and a mix of school sizes.
The information will help us to develop and refine our methodology, and to give advice on mitigation options for the at-risk schools.
For the complete list of 103 schools and more information about this programme, visit our web page:
Change of technology provider applications for 2023
The deadline for change of technology provider applications is Tuesday 26 August for the 2023 school year.
If the change of technology provider is approved, you will need to complete a new memorandum of understanding before staffing will be removed from the existing technology provider and allocated to the new provider.
Completed change of technology provider application forms, along with the revised technology memorandum of understanding document, should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find more information about technology education provision for Years 7 and 8 ākonga on our website.
Save the date: Infrastructure sector forum
Infrastructure sector forums are an opportunity for us, alongside representatives from your school, to share information on school infrastructure. This covers property, transport, ICT and technology in schools.
We will be hosting the next infrastructure sector forum on Tuesday 23 August from 4-5pm.
The forum will be held on Teams. Register your interest in the link below.
We will provide the forum topic and further information closer to the date.
Email us at email@example.com if there is a topic that you’d like to discuss at a future forum, or if you would like to provide any feedback on the timing of the session.
Prime Minister’s Vocational Excellence Award 2022
We are now accepting nominations for the Prime Minister’s Vocational Excellence Award.
This award was launched in 2019 to celebrate students who demonstrate vocational excellence, and to raise the status of vocational education.
One Year 12 or Year 13 student per state or state-integrated school or wharekura is eligible to receive the award. Recipients receive a $2,000 cash prize and a certificate.
Information packs, along with information on the nomination criteria and the nomination forms, were sent to schools at the start of Term 3. You can nominate a student either using your ESL login or via email.
2023 Ngarimu video competition
As a part of the prestigious Ngarimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarships for university and vocational education and training students, we’re inviting ākonga in Year 7 through to 13 to enter the Ngarimu video competition.
This competition provides ākonga a chance to practise storytelling and research, and to learn about the 28th (Māori) Battalion history. There are two awards available, and the videos can be in English and/or te reo Māori.
Entries for the competition close on Friday 9 September.
More information about the competition and this year’s winners can be found on our website.
Redesign of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa: Online workshops available
Online workshops with kaiako, ākonga and whānau about the redesign of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (TMoA) have begun and will run until Thursday 25 August.
The workshops are being facilitated by te reo Māori education experts Aronui Limited (Te Taitokerau) and Tui Tuia | Learning Circle (Tāmaki Makaurau) in Te Tai Raro, and Kia Ata Mai Educational Trust in Te Tai Whenua and Te Tai Runga.
About the workshops
The workshops will run for roughly 45 minutes and will cover:
- the most important things for ākonga to learn and kaiako to teach
- what Te Marautanga o Aotearoa currently looks like in kura (strengths and limitations)
- Te Tamaiti Hei Raukura as a proposed framework for the redesign
- Tīrewa Marau as a proposed structure
- any feedback, questions, whakaaro about the proposed redesign.
Although sessions are mostly online there are a few kanohi ki te kanohi sessions available at selected kura in Tāmaki Makaurau.
If you know of any kura that would like to host a kanohi ki te kanohi session in Te Tai Whenua and Te Tai Runga, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register and to view session times, visit Eventbrite:
To read more about the TMoA redesign, visit our website:
Any queries can be emailed to Mandy Bird at email@example.com.
Privacy statement published for Te Mana Tūhono
We have now published a privacy statement for the Te Mana Tūhono programme. The statement describes how we collect, store and disclose of personal information in the delivery of Te Mana Tūhono.
Our delivery partner N4L also has a separate privacy statement for their services. You will find it on their website.
Te Mana Tūhono is our long-term programme to support schools to monitor, maintain and manage their networks. Learn more about it on our website.