he pitopito kōrero

He Pitopito Kōrero
Update - 15 March 2022

15 March 2022
he pitopito kōrero

He Pitopito Kōrero

Update - 15 March 2022

Ngā mihi o te Rātū,

Thank you for the continued feedback, it helps us adapt our processes to provide what you need.

Many of you have indicated that the volume of information you are having to process can be overwhelming. You will be pleased to hear that from next week you can expect to receive just one bulletin a week on a Tuesday afternoon. As always, we will provide urgent information out of cycle if necessary.

In today’s bulletin, information about the change to vaccine pass requirements for school-organised extra-curricular activities, and some advice on how you might record leave in different situations.

I know that you are all flat out managing the impact of teacher and student absence, but as you are probably aware there are discussions underway around when and how vaccination mandates may be lifted. It is timely to think about planning for that as you will need to make your own health and safety policies.

Kia kaha,

Health and safety planning around vaccines

In the event the vaccination mandates in education are lifted, school boards will be required to take the implications of this into account in decisions about their own health and safety settings.

As initial guidance we have updated our risk assessment and business continuity planning template. You'll also find further information about undertaking a health and safety risk assessment on our website.

Risk assessment and planning for Omicron [DOCX, 42 KB]

Risk assessment and planning – Te Mahau

This will help you to monitor and review health and safety policies around COVID-19, as you re-assess these in consultation with your staff and the wider schooling community.

Early and good engagement with your staff will be of critical importance as you consider future policy settings.

Your Te Mahau advisors, New Zealand School Trustees Association and Te Rūnanga Nui are available to provide advice and support regarding health and safety planning.

Changes to vaccine pass requirements for teams and groups

As noted in our  bulletin on 1 March, changes have now been made to the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Protection Framework) Order.

Changes to requirements for school activities – School Bulletin 1 March

All children and young people enrolled in a registered school are now able to participate in all school-organised teams and groups regardless of their vaccination status. This change took effect from 11.59pm Saturday 12 March.

This change will also apply to any individuals representing their school at an event or competition – for example, an individual representing their school at a debating competition (think of them as a team/group of one).

For education outside the classroom (EOTC), this will mean that an offsite provider will not be able to ask children and young people participating in school-organised curriculum-related activities for evidence of vaccination.

Social events, fund-raising events or other activities where student participants are not in a school-organised team or group are not included in this exemption from vaccine pass requirements – for example, school balls, school fairs, quiz nights.

COVID-19 guidance on events and activities – Te Mahau

Scenarios for managing staff leave

The spread of Omicron in our school communities is resulting in instances of leave scenarios that may have been unpredictable in earlier planning.  

Our ‘managing staff leave due to COVID-19’ page now includes advice and scenarios of why a staff member may be absent and unable to work from home for COVID-19 reasons.

Managing staff leave due to COVID-19 – Te Mahau

The scenarios indicate how the leave can be recorded (for example, as disregarded sick leave or discretionary leave).  

Additional relief teacher funding

Additional relief teacher funding for COVID-19 absences can be claimed for relief cover for eligible sick leave, dependent leave, discretionary leave and disregarded sick leave.

Additional relief funding for Term 1 – Te Mahau

Please also see our previous bulletins.

Supporting schools to support staff – School Bulletin 10 February

COVID-19 relief funding for schools – School Bulletin 17 February


Additional support when backfilling a reliever

There may be instances when a short-term reliever becomes sick with COVID-19 while contracted to work at your school or kura.

You may need to backfill their absence and cover their sick leave. In this case, please contact your Te Mahau office to apply for special reasons support to backfill a reliever due to a COVID-19 absence.  

If you are struggling to manage your school’s financial situation and require further support please contact your school financial adviser or your Te Mahau office to work through what options might be available.

Contact details for managing school finances – Ministry of Education

New downloadable learning packs available

In February we released a trial set of downloadable learning packs covering the curriculum theme of ‘creativity’.

The final creativity packs with two weeks of learning activities are now available and we have also released draft packs with one week of activities covering the curriculum theme of ‘curiosity’.

2022 downloadable learning packs – Learning from Home

The final curiosity packs with two weeks of activities will be published next week. Further learning packs covering three additional curriculum themes will be released from the end of March until early May.    

These learning packs target learners in Years 1-3, 4-6, 7-8 and 9-10. They are designed flexibly to be used in the classroom and at home, with and without digital devices.

Ventilating teaching spaces in cold weather

We have updated our guidance for schools on ventilating teaching spaces in cold weather.

Ventilation on colder days – Te Mahau

Natural ventilation performs better in colder weather, which means you can partially open windows and doors when it’s cold outside and achieve the same or better ventilation than fully opening windows and doors when it’s warm outside.

The goal is still to allow the flow of fresh outdoor air to minimise the risk of COVID-19 airborne transmission, while balancing this with maintaining a comfortable temperature in indoor spaces.

Our advice has been endorsed by a panel of independent experts and includes operational changes you can make that will help to strike this balance.

Additional classroom ventilation toolkits

We will soon have more portable CO2 monitors available for schools with rolls over 250 students.

We are expecting these to be ready for distribution in April. If your school has more than 250 students and is eligible, we will get in touch with you once they are ready to ship.

If you have any questions or concerns about ventilation, please contact ventilation.mailbox@education.govt.nz.

Border exception for international students: Application process

The Implementation Framework for the fourth border exception for international students has been finalised and contains information about the allocation of places to schools, the criteria required for nomination of students to these places, and all associated processes.

Border class exception for international students – Ministry of Education

Information has been provided to peak body representatives to distribute to their members. If you are a school that is not aligned to SIEBA or ISNZ, you can request a copy of the Implementation Framework, application for places forms, and information sheets from Education New Zealand at c4schools@enz.govt.nz.

Applying for places

The application for places is an opportunity for schools to indicate the number of places they wish to use. This will be used to confirm the number of places each school will be able to use.

The deadline for applications is 5pm Tuesday 22 March.

We plan to notify applicant schools of the outcome of the allocation of places process in the week beginning Monday 28 March. It is also planned for the nomination process to open for those places during this week.

COVID-19 website information has moved

As you know, Te Mahau is a part of Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | The Ministry of Education and provides localised services and support through your local Te Mahau office.

The COVID-19 information and guidance previously housed on our main Ministry of Education website has been moved to the Te Mahau website.

COVID-19 – Te Mahau

Pages related to COVID-19 on our main site will be automatically redirected to the COVID-19 landing page on Te Mahau. Please update your bookmarks.

New look: Learning Management System

We are pleased to announce the new-look Learning Management System (LMS) will be available tomorrow 16 March.

Login – Learning Management System

New features available include:

  • access to learning content via a catalogue 
  • new classifications to enable filtering of learning content 
  • easier access – you can now use your Education Sector Logon (ESL) to login.

Applications opening for mathematics and statistics PLD

Applications for Just-In-Time Maths (JITM) support will open this Thursday 17 March.

Teachers of learners in Years 4 to 8 are eligible to participate in this programme. Schools and kura can nominate up to two teachers to receive this support.

Your school’s PLD Leader (with the corresponding permissions in ESL) will be able to apply for your school.

For key dates and information about this support and access to the application form, please visit the PLD website.

Just-In-Time Maths PLD support – Professional Learning & Development

Delivery is scheduled to begin in Term 2 and run until the end of Term 4.

Māori-medium support

For Māori-medium settings, Mauri Tū Mauri Ora is also available.

Mauri Tū Mauri Ora is a suite of education initiatives available nationally and focussed on accelerating progress and achievement of ākonga in te reo Māori education pathways in te reo matatini and pāngarau.

Mauri Tū Mauri Ora providers work alongside kaiako, kura, whānau and community to identify and support ākonga who require extra support to accelerate te reo matatini and pāngarau learning.

To request support or for further information, contact Tereo.Programmeoffice@education.govt.nz.

Additional support for teaching maths

To ensure teachers and leaders are able to access quality guidance and support for teaching maths, we are rolling out a support package for use during 2022.

This will include written guidance and workshops for school leaders around leading maths effectively. This will be available in Term 2.