he pitopito kōrero

He Pitopito Kōrero
Issue 165

17 October 2023
he pitopito kōrero

He Pitopito Kōrero

Issue 165
17 October 2023

Ngā mihi o te ata

Hope you enjoyed a decent break.

As you know the Prime Minister conceded the election on Saturday night, but we need to wait for special votes to be counted and negotiations between political parties before the new Government is sworn in.

In the meantime, the caretaker convention applies. This means the current Labour-led Government remains in office, and Minister Tinetti, Associate Minister Luxton and Associate Minister Davis remain our Ministers.

During a caretaker period, no new major spending or policy decisions are taken or implemented by the Government. This means that some of the work you may have been expecting to see will be delayed or not occur.

This is a long bulletin. Apologies in advance.

Ngā mihi


Public sector pay adjustment update: Support staff in schools, kaiārahi i te Reo and therapists

Additional information is on the explainer web page for the support staff in schools, kaiārahi i te Reo and therapists’ Public Sector Pay Adjustment (PSPA) variation.

The updated information includes:

  • payment dates for the pay rate increases and lump sums
  • information about backpay arrangements
  • revised instruction for employees on Individual Employment Agreements
  • updates to the case studies
  • managing the letters of offer to new employees.

Variations to the Support Staff in Schools’ and Kaiārahi i te Reo and Therapists’ collective agreements – Ministry of Education

Changes to Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement

The Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement was ratified by NZEI Te Riu Roa and PPTA Te Wehengarua members on 18 August. The agreement is effective from 3 July 2023 to 2 June 2025. We have outlined the changes on our webpage that will be implemented from now until the start of Term 1 2025. This includes:

  • lump-sum payments and when they were paid (pay period 12 on 5 September)
  • salary increases to the base salary effective from 3 July 2023 (to be paid in pay period 17 on 14 November)
  • new and changing provisions coming into effect in terms 3 and 4, 2023
  • key aspects of the settlement, including a roadmap setting out when the various changes come into effect.

The webpage will be updated throughout the term of this agreement providing further details on new or changing provisions as they come into effect.

Changes to Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement – Ministry of Education

Resourcing update

Provisional roll review

Due by 17 November. You can find full details about how to submit a review on our website:

Provisional roll review – Ministry of Education

Extraordinary roll growth funding

Applications period is 1 to 17 November. To apply:

Extraordinary roll growth funding – Ministry of Education

Banking staffing 2023

You should try to achieve a nil balance by pay period 22 (10 to 23 January).

Use the balancing period (pay periods 23 to 26) to help manage any outstanding under- or over-use. The deadline for submitting any retrospective banking staffing adjustments for the 2023 banking staffing year is 5pm, Thursday 30 November. For further information:

Calculating banking staffing – Ministry of Education

All staffing applications

Applications are due by 5pm 30 November. This includes beginning teachers, specialist classroom teachers, staffing transfers and staffing roll increases for 2023. We will not be processing applications received after this date. 

The 10-school day student retention for staffing roll increases must be met before or by this deadline. For further information:

Resourcing: Operational funding and staffing entitlements – Ministry of Education

Surplus staffing support

If your school | kura is managing a staffing entitlement reduction for 2024 and must disestablish permanent staff positions, you may be eligible for surplus staffing support to cover the costs incurred by your requirements in the teachers’ employment agreement.

To be eligible for surplus staffing support your situation must meet all the following conditions:

  1. you have a reduction in your staffing entitlement of at least 1.0 FTTE
  2. you have made sound employment decisions
  3. you and the teacher agree about their future options.

Boards can apply for surplus staffing support from mid-November to early December.

For more information visit:

Determine whether your school is eligible for Ministry support – Ministry of Education

All applications should be sent to resourcing@education.govt.nz.

If you have any questions, contact resourcing@education.govt.nz.

Term 3 attendance data collection

We are collecting Term 3 attendance data from state and state-integrated schools that have an electronic attendance register (eAR). Data is used for monitoring national attendance levels and supporting improved attendance.

If you have received your Every Day Matters report and have updated your Term 3 data, you can request an updated EDM report by emailing everydaymatters@education.govt.nz.

If you haven’t submitted your attendance data, it’s due by 20 October. Instructions are available at:

Attendance collection – Education Counts

Resources to support recording student | ākonga attendance can be found here:

Attendance code resources – Ministry of Education

Free household internet connection still available

If you know anyone in your school | kura community that needs assistance with internet connectivity, do encourage them to apply before 31 October for fully funded Internet connection, via our Equitable Digital Access (EDA) programme. Connections are currently funded until 30 June 2024, and existing connections will automatically be renewed until then.

For any queries, and to apply, contact eda@education.govt.nz or 0800 441 844. To read more go to:

Home internet access – Ministry of Education

Gender pronoun policy: Clarification

On the 5 October edition of Sean Plunket’s ‘The Platform’, it was implied that the company SchoolDocs, which develops policies for a large percentage of schools, was taking policy directives from the Ministry of Education. There was specific mention of a policy that promotes discipline of primary school students | ākonga if they use incorrect pronouns with fellow students or members of staff. Policies developed by SchoolDocs are not Ministry policy and we do not endorse them.

Tool for keeping school drinking water safe

We have developed an easy-to-use drinking water maintenance tool (spreadsheet) in consultation with schools | kura for keeping water systems safe and healthy for staff | kaimahi and students | ākonga. The spreadsheet summarises tasks, is printable and tracks maintenance activities. It can be downloaded here:

Drinking water maintenance tool [XLSX.140KB]

Any questions, email water.services@education.govt.nz.

Reading Together® applications for 2023/24 open

Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi is a strengths-based series of workshops to support children’s reading at home. Those taking part in Reading Together® will also receive sets of books to practice the strategies they learned from the workshops.

Applications for funding are now open. You will have 10 weeks to deliver the programme if your application is successful. Email reading.together@education.govt.nz to find out more and apply.

StudyIt forums for NCEA students open

StudyIt forums are now available for students | ākonga preparing for end-of-year exams in NCEA levels 1–3 English, maths or science. Teachers | kaiako facilliate the forums to discuss NCEA achievement standards, general study and exam advice, including tips on how to study smart.

NCEA help from real students and teachers – StudyIt

Awards for teachers of gifted learners

Applications close on 5 November. Individual primary or secondary teachers | kaiako could receive up to $2,500 or a group of teachers | kaiako up to $6,000 to fund learning opportunities.

To apply visit:

Awards for Teachers of Gifted Learners – TKI

Any queries, email gifted.enquiries@education.govt.nz.

Teaching English in Schools for Speakers of Other Languages Scholarships 2024

Applications for TESSOL tuition fees scholarships for 2024 close on 6 November.

Scholarships for TESSOL – Ministry of Education

Connect your SMS to Te Rito today

Schools | kura are invited to connect to Te Rito, a national information-sharing platform that will enable learner information to follow students throughout their education.

Connecting your school’s SMS is an important first step to protect data during transitions. This is especially critical before the end-of-year period when many learners change schools.

Note it will be some time before all schools | kura can access and use Te Rito but it’s important to get data flowing in from now.

To read more, visit:

Welcome to Te Rito – Te Rito

We are running four webinars in November for principals. To register:

Te Rito principal updates – Eventbrite

National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement insights reports

The 2022 NMSSA insights reports for teachers, covering Years 4 and 8 mathematics and statistics and Years 4 and 8 health and physical education curriculum learning areas are available.

Mathematics and statistics report – NMSSA

Mathematics and statistics resources for teachers – NMSSA

Health and Physical Education report – NMSSA

Health and Physical Education resources for teachers – NMSSA  

The NMSSA has been replaced by the curriculum insights and progress study from 2023, which will measure against Te Mātaiaho | the refreshed NZ curriculum.

Te Whakangārahu Ngātahi │ Planning Together: New resource

A planning and reporting information kit for Māori-medium settings and Specified Kura Boards, principals and staff is available at: 

Te Whakangārahu Ngātahi | Planning Together Information Kit (te Reo Māori) [PDF, 335 KB]

Te Whakangārahu Ngātahi | Planning Together Information Kit (English) [PDF, 337 KB]

This kit contains information about the new requirements, a suggested planning and reporting process, and example templates. It differs from the English-medium toolkit. In the Māori-medium kit we have: 

  • included the definition of a Specified Kura Board and the different requirements for their plans 
  • added example templates for how a principal could report to their board. 

For help with planning and reporting, contact your local Te Mahau office. 

Local Ministry Offices Ministry of Education 

Gateway assessment review survey

Thank you to those who have taken time to get involved in local engagements. These opportunities are ongoing so keep an eye out for the dates and locations near you.

Gateway assessment review kaimahi and partner survey

All kaimahi are invited to have a say about the Gateway assessment via a survey. 

If you've worked with the Gateway assessment, please share your perspective. It takes around 30 minutes and your feedback will be kept confidential.

Gateway Assessment Review National Survey – Oranga Tamariki

We also encourage you to share the survey with your teams and others who you know have experience with the Gateway assessment process.

Another survey for care-experienced young people, whānau, and caregivers is in development and will be distributed separately. Any questions, email gatewayreview@ot.govt.nzor for education specific questions contact amy.devries@education.govt.nz.

Equity index – tell us what you think

In 2023, the Equity Index replaced the Decile System as a way of targeting equity funding to schools | kura to support students | ākonga. In the week beginning 24 October, your school may receive an invitation to take part in a postal survey – this is your opportunity to tell us how the transition to the Equity Index has impacted your ability to help students | ākonga realise their full potential. The survey will be open until 24 November.

Change in setting for children undergoing adoption

We have updated the Education (Domestic Students) Notice 2023 with a new clause related to children undergoing adoption. Schools | kura should be sighting the required evidence before enrolling the child.

The Education (Domestic Students) Notice 2023 – New Zealand Government

For support with enrolment and funding, contact your regional Te Mahau office.

Further information about students | ākonga entitled to enrol in schools can be found on our website:

Circular 2020/08: Eligibility to enrol in New Zealand schools – Ministry of Education

Registration on National EOTC coordinator database

Please check your Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) coordinator, or person who holds responsibility for EOTC from your school | kura, is registered on the National EOTC coordinator database. The database supports the EOTC coordinator to:

  • notify changes to good practice as it relates to EOTC safety management 
  • build capability within the EOTC coordinator role and ultimately the capability of the school to provide quality EOTC.

The free database is available to all schools.

Homepage – EONZ

Te Takanga o Te Wā hei Tīrewa Ako: Kia Whakaū 

Kura and schools implementing Te Takanga o Te Wā to apply for ‘Te Takanga o Te Wā hei Tīrewa Ako: Kia Whakaū’, can sign up to a personalised programme to support implementation running in Term 4 2023 and Term 1 2024. This is available to kura, rumaki units, bilingual kura, kura kaupapa, kura-a-iwi, wharekura, and educational settings teaching in te reo Māori. It also offers an early opportunity to test resources and engage in the redesign of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa:

  • for a Term 4 start, register by 13 October
  • for a Term 1 2024 start, register by 10 November. 

To sign up, email whakahou.marautanga@education.govt.nz or complete the online form:

Expression of Interest – Te Takanga o Te Wā hei Tīrewa

Reducing barriers for overseas teachers

We offer several initiatives to make it easier to recruit teachers from overseas.

  • The overseas finder’s fee of $3,450 offsets recruitment costs when employing a returning New Zealand or internationally trained teacher. 
  • The overseas relocation grant provides up to $10,000 towards a teacher’s costs of moving to New Zealand. 

Both grants require the teacher | kaiako to be registered and certificated by the Teaching Council of New Zealand and have a contract for at least 12 months in a school | kura. The teacher cannot have taught in Aotearoa in the 12 months before their new role starts.

Email teacher.supply@education.govt.nz  to find out how our ‘Navigator’ team can support in overseas recruitment.

For more information visit:

Home – TeachNZ

Funded IQAs

An extension of funded International Qualifications Assessments (IQAs) for overseas trained teachers will significantly reduce the cost for teachers aiming to teach in New Zealand.

Up to 200 funded teaching IQAs will be accepted by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority each month from 9 October until the 1,200 funded places are used. Teachers with a job offer needing an urgent assessment after the monthly limit is reached can pay the $746 fee for a regular Teaching IQA and then apply to recover it through an overseas relocation grant. You can read more about IQAs on the NZQA site:

Zero fee IQA for teacher qualification – NZQA