Prepared by Sarah Bolton, 2017
With funding from the sponsors of the Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy
Sarah Bolton, from Washington, DC, researched equity in New Zealand’s primary and secondary education system, focusing on outcomes for Māori, Pasifika, and low-socioeconomic status students. She was hosted by the Ministry of Education.
Sarah spent ten years working in the United States Senate, developing national public policy in the fields of education, child welfare, and poverty.
An equitable education system is one where all students, regardless of their ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or abilities, can succeed. While New Zealand’s education system performs well overall, large gaps in equity still remain for some student groups.
Sarah Bolton’s Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowship in Public Policy report examines the issue of educational equity in New Zealand’s primary and secondary school system, focusing on outcomes for Māori, Pasifika, and low socio-economic status students.
The report outlines the existing educational gaps for these learner groups, as well as the changing demographics and labor market needs that make educational equity an urgent public policy issue in New Zealand. It also includes historical context for educational equity and information on the current challenges and opportunities in New Zealand’s education system.
The report is informed by about 100 interviews with stakeholders from across the education system, as well as visits to 20 primary and secondary schools representing the broad diversity of schools in New Zealand.
The paper includes policy recommendations to reduce educational inequity in New Zealand, including recommendations regarding NCEA; incorporation of student language, culture and identity in schools; school segregation; school funding; Communities of Learning; ability grouping; and the use of data to improve learning.
Download the full report in PDF format: