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9 – Data availability: education

This section sets out the data sources that exist on education in New Zealand, and discusses the pros and cons of each of the sources from the perspective of productivity measurement.

9.1 Education: output quantity

As stated previously, the internationally recommended method of measuring output quantity in education is through direct volume measurement. The internationally-recommended output measures for each level of education are summarised in section 7.2.1.

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Table 34 Summary of available data sources for education output

Data source Details Issues & limitations
ECE
time series of interest already published by MOE

Number of Enrolments by Service Type from 1990

Average Weekly Enrolled Hours for Children at Licensed Services from 1996

Children FTEs at Licensed ECE Services from 1996

ECE
RS61
funded and non-funded enrolment headcounts; detailed information about the qualifications of and hours worked by various types of staff; Breakdown by qualification and type of service data from 2001 From 2000
ECE
RS7
Daily funded child-hours per service type, with no headcount. From 2000, funded hours only
ECE
RS71
Operational Costs and Fees at teacher-led Centre-based ECE services; breakdown into teacher salaries, mixed duty staff salaries, admin staff salaries, staff overheads, professional development, admin resources, educational resources, Professional services, Utilities, Other operating costs, Rent for leased property, Property rates, Depreciation, Repairs and maintenance, Interest paid, Other; Costs per hour for individual child by age, broken down into fees outside of 20 Hours free ECE, optional charges, and parent donations; Total hours of enrolment Intermittent from 2005; teacher-led only
Schools
March school roll return
Enrolled headcounts by year of schooling, type of school, type of student and nature of attendance (full-time and part-time); private school teaching staff (FTTEs, or Full time equivalents) Data available from 2000, with uniform reporting rules introduced in 2005. March counts are higher than July for secondary schools because of attrition
Schools
July school roll return
Number by age, year of schooling, type of school, type of student, and nature of attendance (full-time and part-time); Subjects taken by secondary students by learning zone Data available from 2000, with uniform reporting rules introduced in 2005. July counts are higher than March for primary schools because of additional enrolment
Tertiary
Single Data Return
Enrolments, FTSEs and completions Covers all tertiary providers that receive government subsidy, including many private providers, from 1994.
Tertiary
Student Enrolments and Completions (TSEC)
Annual data on enrolments and completions in qualifications derived from SDR; tracks individuals using National student number from 2003. Available from 1994
Other Ed
Performance Management System (PMS)
Industry training completion by programme, certificates, and credits covers all formally-assessed courses of more than a week’s equivalent full-time duration, except those in private training establishments that receive no funding assistance from government. From 2001
Other Ed
'Basil'
Targeted training programmes formerly administered by Skill NZ, and now by TEC, completion data with credits and 2-month outcomes From 2001

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9.1.1 ECE output quantity data sourcestop

The following published ECE time-series of interest are available from the Ministry of Education:

  • Number of Early Childhood Enrolments by Type of Service, 1990-2008
  • Enrolments by Age at 1 July (not broken down by service type), 1990-2008
  • Average Weekly Enrolled Hours for Children at Licensed Services (excluding the Correspondence School), 1996-2008
  • Full-time equivalent children at Licensed ECE Services (excluding Correspondence School), 1996-2008 [calculated by multiplying the number of students by enrolled hours during the census week, assuming FT= 30 hours/week]
  • Full-time Teacher Equivalent [calculated using total hours/25] by provider type
  • Number of usual teaching staff in licensed early childhood education services by highest qualification and type of service.

The return of statistics is a statutory requirement of all early childhood services under Section 144A of the Education Act 1989. The Ministry of Education currently has three data collections for ECE. The collection instruments are available online at: http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/technical_info/collection_forms. Guidelines for completing the forms, tailored for each type of responding service, are available to assist in interpreting data.

Collection RS61 (Annual return of children and staff)top

Overview

This one-week snapshot taken every June, includes an enrolment headcount, and both funded and non-funded hours (under 2, 20 hours free ECE for 3–4 year olds, free subsidy for extra 10 hours, and residual non-free hours), as well as detailed information about the qualifications of and hours worked by various types of staff. It is not used for funding purposes and seems to have no in-built motivation for ‘gaming’ that might bias the responses.

Coverage

All licensed ECE providers.

Timing (frequency, time reference, length of time series)

Annual data are available from 1997, but are not considered reliable by Ministry staff prior to 2000.

Use in a measure of productivity

This is the primary data source for ECE in New Zealand. It supplies student headcounts, FTSEs, and staff FTEs by type.

Known issues

Breakdown by qualification and type of service data was only collected from 2001, so prior years would have to interpolated. This collection has a 100 percent response rate for most years, and 99.8 percent (unweighted) in 2007 and 2008.

Key variablestop

The following variables (in bold), along with short descriptions, are those which should be considered useful when analysing ECE information for measuring change in output.

Type of service This is required to differentiate the five types of licensed ECE provider, which provide substantively different services.

Number of children on the regular roll for each day of snapshot week, number of regular roll attending, and number of casual students The snapshot provides an annual point-in-time estimate of student enrolments and actual educational services delivered, which can be rated up to approximate annual educational output. These are headcounts only and do not provide FTSEs.

Number of children by age and Free ECE participation by age The costs and services associated with providing education to different age groups are such that differentiating into under-2, 2, and 3–5 year old children may be desired. Number of children covers the industry scope, whereas Free ECE hours covers the government-funded scope.

Number of children receiving 20 hours free ECE, by duration of weekly enrolment and age (3-5) These student numbers by age can be used to satisfy the ‘government-funded’ definition of scope and give a rough approximation of FTSEs. Weekly hours of enrolment are provided in narrow ranges rather than continuous values (eg ‘more than 6 and up to 9’), so some assumptions would be required for estimating FTSEs.

Number by age and weekly hours enrolled These student numbers by age and hours enrolled give a rough approximation of FTSEs (including 20 hours free ECE). Weekly hours of enrolment are provided in narrow ranges rather than continuous values (eg ‘more than 6 and up to 9’), so some assumptions would be required for estimating FTSEs. Netting out the 20 hours free ECE would yield approximate FTSEs not funded by government.

Count of paid support staff, with normal hours worked for PT (<25) These data can be used to calculate support staff labour input in the form of FTEs.

Count of specialist staff (eg psychologist), with normal hours worked for PT (<25) These data can be used to calculate specialist staff labour input in the form of FTEs.

Count of teaching staff by highest ECE qualification held, with normal hours worked for PT (<25) These data can be used to calculate teaching staff labour input in the form of FTEs.

Level of Disaggregation for a measure of output quantity change

Variables which capture information on the characteristics of service that might be considered quality-defining: service type, age, and 20 Hours free ECE.

Access to dataset

The MOE holds this dataset.

Corresponding weights

Costs by age and ECE service type are reported in Collection RS71 (see ECE input data availability).

Collection RS7top

Overview

RS7 collects daily funded child hours (FCHs) per ECE service type, for funding purposes. These data are collected for internal use and are not published.

Coverage

All ECE services receiving government funding.

Timing (frequency, time reference, length of time series)

Collected every four months. Annual data are available from 1997, but are not considered reliable by Ministry staff prior to 2000.

Use in a measure of productivity

Funded child hours provide the actual hours of educational service delivered (as opposed to enrolled), by age and service type. This is useful for satisfying the ‘government-funded’ definition of scope or for an attendance-adjusted definition of output.

Known issues

Includes only hours, not headcount.

Key variablestop

ECE service type This is required to differentiate the five types of licensed ECE provider, which provide substantively different services.

Daily funded child hours (FCHs) Actual hours of government-funded educational service delivered (as opposed to enrolled).

Level of disaggregation for a measure of output quantity change

Variables which capture information on the characteristics of service that might be considered quality-defining: service type, age.

Access to dataset

The MOE holds this dataset.

Corresponding weights

Costs by age and ECE service type are reported in Collection RS71 (see ECE input data availability).

9.1.2 School output quantity data sourcestop

The Ministry of Education carries out statistical collections (roll returns) from all schools in New Zealand at 1 March and 1 July each year, in line with the statutory requirements as detailed in the Education Act 1989.

The Ministry uses the data provided through these collection exercises in a number of ways: to fund and staff schools; to support policy analysis, development and decision making; to monitor the outcomes of the New Zealand education system; and for national and international reporting purposes. The March data are mainly used for schools' resourcing purposes, while the July data are used more for trend analysis as detailed information on age and ethnicity are collected at this time.

March roll returntop

Overview

The March school roll return data are mainly used for schools' resourcing purposes. However, school leaver attainment data, which is used in a number of analytical publications, are collected as part of the March return. It includes information on the number of schools, school rolls, numbers of foreign fee-paying students, and numbers of students involved in Māori medium education. The March roll return primarily collects information on full-time student equivalents (FTSE), including regular and foreign fee-paying students, and those in alternative education. These data are aggregated and published on the Ministry of Education website.

Coverage

All schools in New Zealand.

Timing (frequency, time reference, length of time series)

Collected annually at 1 March, available from 2000.

Use in a measure of productivity

The roll returns provide student volumes broken down by school authority and type, making up the best available direct volume measure of educational services.

Known issues

Discussions with the Ministry of Education reveal that, as a rule, March counts are higher than July for secondary schools because of attrition, and that July is higher for primary schools. Data are reliable from about 2000, but each school reported slightly differently until the problem was addressed by new reporting rules in 2005 to make them more uniform.

Key variablestop

Authority State, state integrated, private.

School type Full primary (year 1–8), Contributing School (Year 1–6), Intermediate School (Year 7–8), Kura Kaupapa Māori (Primary), Kura Teina (Primary), Composite School (Year 1–15), Restricted Composite School (Year 7–10) (also known as Middle School), Kura Kaupapa Māori (Composite), Kura Teina (Composite), Correspondence School, Secondary School (Year 7–15), Secondary School (Year 9–15), Secondary School (Year 11–15), Special School.

Enrolment total student count

School leavers count and highest attainment level.

Maori medium education (bilingual or immersion) or teach Te Reo or Taha Maori, by Maori and total, by level and number of hours 25>20>12.5>7.5>3.

Private schools teacher FTEs Reported as count of full-time and part-time teaching staff, with snapshot of hours worked by part-time.

Special School FTSE By year 1–15, by type: regular and adult, alternative education, NZAID-funded, and international fee-paying students.

Non-NQF qualifications (eg Cambridge, international baccalaureate), with case-by-case follow-up on leavers.

Alternative education FTSE By student type (regular, adult, and returning).

Foreign fee-paying and exchange students count

Level of Disaggregation for a measure of output quantity change

Variables which capture information on the characteristics of service that might be considered quality-defining: authority, school type, teen parent unit, foreign fee-paying student.

Access to dataset

The MOE holds this dataset.

Corresponding weights

Costs by school type.

July Roll Returntop

Overview

The July school roll return data are mainly used for trend analysis. It includes information on the school rolls by headcount, numbers of foreign fee-paying students, secondary school subject enrolment, and prior ECE experience of students. These data are aggregated and published on the Ministry of Education website.

Coverage

All schools in New Zealand.

Timing (frequency, time reference, length of time series)

Collected annually at 1 July, available from 2000.

Use in a measure of productivity

The roll returns provide student volumes broken down by school authority and type, making up the best available direct volume measure of educational services. The March roll return is FTSE-based and therefore preferable to the July return for calculating volumes.

Known issues

Discussions with the Ministry of Education reveal that, as a rule, March counts are higher than July for secondary schools because of attrition, and July is higher for primary schools. Data are reliable from about 2000, but each school reported slightly differently until the problem was addressed by new reporting rules in 2005 to make them more uniform. July roll return is headcounts rather than FTSE.

Key variablestop

authority

school type

International students International Exchange (EX), NZAID-funded (FE), and International Fee-paying students (FF), with FTE, tuition weeks and tuition paid.

Counts of domestic students are available by primary/secondary or by age within the spreadsheet for excluding non-domestic students. The collection on International Students shows counts by school types from 2004, on a 5-yearly basis from 1976, and more on aggregated data annually from 1991.

Level of Disaggregation for a measure of output quantity change

Variables which capture information on the characteristics of service that might be considered quality-defining: authority, school type, teen parent unit, foreign fee-paying student.

Access to dataset

The MOE holds this dataset.

Corresponding weights

Costs by school type.


9.1.3 Tertiary output quantity data sourcestop

Overview

The Single Data Return (SDR) is a data collection used for the purposes of funding students at tertiary education providers, and for statistical reporting requirements under Sections 159 AE and ZK of the Education Act (1989). Information is collected about student characteristics, course enrolment details, course and qualification completions, course details, and student numbers (FTSE).

Coverage

The SDR is required to be completed by all providers that receive the FTSE-based tuition subsidy or have students with Student Loans or Allowances. This means that it does not include all PTEs, but does include those who receive government funding from 2000 forward.

Timing (frequency, time reference, length of time series)

Data are supplied by tertiary education providers three times a year (at 30 April, 31 August, and 31 December).

Use in a measure of productivity

The single data return provides student volumes broken down by provider and type, making up the best available direct volume measure of educational services.

Known issues

None.

Key variablestop

subsector

level of study

FTSE

Level of disaggregation for a measure of output quantity change

Variables which capture information on the characteristics of service that might be considered quality-defining: subsector, level of study, student type (domestic/international), broad field of study.

Access to dataset

The MOE holds this dataset. A 105-page manual is available to assist in interpreting the data. The SDR, along with payments data, is collated into pre-aggregated data cubes that can be queried and viewed using a web browser.

Corresponding weights

Costs by subsector or by subsector, level and field of study where available.


Tertiary Student Enrolment and Completions (TSEC)top

Overview

An annual series of data sets on tertiary education enrolments and completions in qualifications, held at an individual student level. The series is available back to 1994 and is used to produce the majority of tertiary education statistics on participation and completion published on Education Counts. This data set is maintained by the Tertiary Sector Performance Analysis and Reporting section, in the Ministry of Education.

The data sets are derived from SDR collections of tertiary enrolments and completions. The TSEC data extends the SDR data sets by including a derived unique student number. This student number is derived through a complex series of algorithms that match qualification enrolments and completion across providers and across time. This identifier provides a link from pre-2003 data to the national student number (NSN) introduced in 2003. Together, these can be used to create an extended longitudinal data series for generating, for example, rates of qualification retention, completion, and progression.

Coverage

Completion data are collected for all formally-assessed courses of more than a week’s equivalent full-time duration, except those relating to training opportunities, youth training, skill enhancement, industry training, and students in formal qualifications in private training establishments that receive no funding assistance from government. This covers about 80 percent of all course enrolments.

Industry training completion is available by programme, certificates, and credits. Targeted training data has credits and 2-month outcomes.

Timing (frequency, time reference, length of time series)

Qualification enrolments and completion data are available back to 1994; individual course/paper completion with associated credit weight and pass rating is available from 2001. EFTS and course enrolments and completions are available by provider and area of study from 2000.

Use in a measure of productivity

Credit weighted course completion most closely fits the recommended output quantity measure for tertiary education services.

Known issues

Degree completion as an output quantity measure has a number of difficulties, including timing the production of educational services, and dealing with double diplomas from a single curriculum. Course completion sidesteps these issues.

Key variablestop

Subsector

Level of study

Course completion

Course credit weight

Broad field of study

Student type (international or domestic)

Level of disaggregation for a measure of output quantity change

Variables which capture information on the characteristics of service that might be considered quality-defining: subsector, level of study, student type (domestic/international), broad field of study.

Access to dataset

The MOE holds this dataset.

Corresponding weights

Cost per credit by subsector, level, and broad field of study.


9.1.4 Other education output quantity data sourcestop

Because of its nature as a residual category, other education is the sub-sector with the weakest data. The exception to this seems to be industry training, which is heavily monitored.

The Single Data Return and Tertiary Enrolments and Completions series are considered the primary sources of other education delivered at tertiary institutions. It is supplemented by two others that cover non-provider-based education. Industry training information is sourced from the Performance Management System (PMS), available from 2001 or 2002. Targeted training programmes formerly administered by Skill NZ, and now by TEC are reported in 'Basil'.

Industry training completion is available by programme, certificates, and credits. Targeted training completion data has credits and 2-month outcomes.

________________________________________top

Table 35 EFTS in STAR courses by sub-sector 2003-2007

Sub-sectors 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Universities 129 85 63 100 118
Institutes of technology and polytechnics 886 1,029 1,152 1,320 1,297
Other tertiary education providers 29 62 44 38 45
Private training establishments 162 176 199 265 341
Total 1,206 1,352 1,459 1,725 1,801

Notes: Data relates to students enrolled at any time during the year with a tertiary education provider. EFTS counts the amount of study undertaken in terms of an equivalent full-time student. Totals also include those students with unknown values.

Source: MOE
________________________________________top

Table 36 Trainees in industry training (1995 to 2007)

Year ‘Trainees at 31 December(prior to 2000 figures are as at 30 June)’ Total trainees during year Modern Apprenticeship trainees at 31 December
1995 18,344
1996 23,957
1997 31,652
1998 45,392
1999 49,577
2000 62,857 81,343 800
2001 66,222 95,283 2,049
2002 83,456 106,997 4,344
2003 89,969 126,870 6,259
2004 102,232 139,596 7,269
2005 118,357 162,938 8,390
2006 123,673 176,064 9,466
2007 130,163 185,676 10,850

Notes: Because of changes to reporting systems figures prior to 2000 may not be exactly comparable with later years. Trainee totals also include Modern Apprenticeship numbers.

Source: TEC
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9.2 Education: output qualitytop

This section sets out the data sources that exist on education and accompanying analyses in New Zealand, and discusses the pros and cons of each of the sources from the perspective of output quality measurement. As discussed in section 7.2.1, most quality adjustment in education is made implicitly through disaggregation, so that like is compared with like across time and space. This can be supplemented with explicit quality adjustment using completions, exam scores, and attendance rates. Alternatively, indirect outcomes such as financial returns to tertiary education can be used to estimate quality change.

Cautionary note

Grades, exam scores, credits, and other indicators of student performance can be used to proxy change in the quality of education output, only if the assumption is made that student effort is in constant proportion to teaching services of a constant quality. 

________________________________________top

Table 37 Summary of available data sources for education quality

Data source Details Issues and limitations
ECE
RS61
Detailed information about the qualifications of and hours worked by various types of staff; breakdown by qualification and type of service data from 2001 From 2000
Schools
Attendance and Absence surveys
Overall absences and truancy, broken down year level, school type, and other variables for state and integrated schools Biannual from 1998, except 2000. Covers only state and integrated schools
Schools
Achievement Test scores
PISA 3-yearly from 2000 covering sample of 15 year olds
Schools
Achievement Test scores
PIRLS 5-yearly from 2001 covering sample of year 5 students
Schools
Achievement Test scores
TIMMS 4-yearly from 1994 at years 5 and 9
Schools
NCEA qualifications
Highest qualification achieved by school leavers Phased in from 2002, inconsistent with previous qualifications.
Schools
NEMP quality assessments
Annual surveys of the achievement of years 4 and 8 Highly qualitative, not consistent over time
Schools
ERO Assessments
Evaluates all schools approximately every 3 years Highly qualitative, not consistent over time

________________________________________


9.2.1 Attendance and absence surveystop

The UK has defined their measure of school output in terms of attendance, as they believe this is a better measure of pupils who are actually being taught in schools. Reliable attendance figures by level are required to pursue this method.

Attendance and absence surveys were carried out in 1996, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2009, in which state and state integrated schools were asked to record absences for a selected week. These were classified as justified, unjustified, and intermittent unjustified absences (ie skipping classes). These are presented in terms of overall absences and truancy, broken down by year level, school type, and other variables.

________________________________________top

Table 38 Comparison of absence and truancy rates for 1998, 2002, 2004 and 2006

School type Absence rate (%) Absence rate (%) Absence rate (%) Absence rate (%) Truancy rate (%) Truancy rate (%) Truancy rate (%) Truancy rate (%)
1998 2002 2004 2006 1998 2002 2004 2006
Primary 6.9 7.2 8.9 8.9 1.4 1.4 1.8 1.9
Intermediate 6.3 7.2 8.9 8.4 1.4 1.8 2.0 2.2
Composite 9.0 8.8 11.6 12.7 2.5 2.4 3.3 3.5
Secondary 11.6 11.9 15.2 16.3 5.6 6.0 6.9

8.3

 Source: Lisa Ng, Research Division, Attendance, absence and truancy in New Zealand Schools in 2006, , Ministry of Education (June 2007)

________________________________________

While this is not a guaranteed data source, there is no plan to discontinue it, as the data from it is used to inform the Student Engagement Initiative (SEI). Response rates are over 80 percent. There was a change in survey methodology in 2002. Prior to 2002, surveys gathered school level summary data and took an arithmetic mean, whereby each school’s rates were calculated, and then the overall mean was calculated. From 2002, surveys used the number of students on the roll and the individual student’s participation in the survey as a denominator, providing a more accurate representation of student absence.

The SEI is intended to reduce stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions, and expulsions. Stand-downs are the formal removal of a student from school for a specified period – no more than five school days in a term or 10 school days in a year. Suspension is the formal removal of a student from school until the board of trustees decides the outcome at a suspension meeting. Exclusion and expulsion are the formal removal of a student from the school (the terms distinguish under and over age 16).

In 2006, the Ministry introduced ENROL. It is a web based central electronic student enrolment register for all school students, which is updated by schools when students enrol, change schools, or leave the school system. It also includes fees paid by international students. The collection of this enrolment information is authorised by section 77A of the Education Act 1989. This will be a useful ongoing information source, but is not useful for past data.

Unlike ENROL, which identifies which school a student ‘belongs to’, schools also record daily school attendance. The Attendance Regulations (1951) require schools to maintain attendance records, and the Education Act (1989) requires schools to ensure the attendance of the students on their rolls. Schools are progressively moving from paper-based to electronic attendance registers. This may be a useful ongoing information source; for instance, it is being used as part of the Ministry’s National Attendance Survey.

Other possible sources of attendance information include District Truancy Services (DTS) and Non-enrolment Truancy Service (NETS), but these services respond to information gathered by schools, rather than having an independent collection. Information from schools is preferable.


9.2.2 International student achievement teststop

There are several international student achievement tests that are used for cross-national comparisons of education. The advantage of international tests is that they are internationally benchmarked and quality-tested, leading to reduced chances of drift over time. The disadvantage is that they are only offered to a sample of students every few years.

There are several possible ways to look at results from these tests:

Mean and distribution of student performance : That is, the average score, as well as the range of lowest and highest scores achieved by students.

Proficiency levels: Some tests have established a range of levels associated with the scores which explain what a student can typically be expected to achieve at each level.

Range of rank: Countries are ranked (within a range) according to the level of student performance. Movement in this range represents an improvement in New Zealand student performance relative to other countries. The Ministry of Education uses PISA results as a source of information to measure progress towards the government education sector’s goals of building an education system that equips all New Zealanders with twenty-first century skills.

Variation in student performance: It is possible to look at how student performance varies within a school and between schools. This is expressed as a percentage of the average variance of student performance in OECD countries, eg the OECD average of total variance in student performance of the PISA 2006 science scale is 8,971. If the variation in performance for a given country is stated as 90 percent, this means it is 90 percent of 8,971.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a three-yearly survey of 15-year-olds in over 40 countries, assessing three key areas of knowledge and skills: reading literacy, mathematical literacy, and scientific literacy.

PISA assesses how well students approaching the end of their compulsory education are prepared for life beyond the classroom, by focusing on the application of knowledge and skills to problems with a real-life context. The aim of PISA is to provide information on the following questions:

  • How well are young adults prepared to meet the challenges of the future?
  • Are they able to analyse, reason, and communicate their ideas effectively?
  • Do they have the capacity to continue learning throughout life?
  • Are some kinds of teaching and school organisation more effective than others?

PISA is an international collaboration that provides information for policymakers and researchers throughout the world.

Although each area of knowledge and skill is assessed on each occasion, the focus of the study changes. In 2000, the focus was on reading literacy, in 2003 it was on mathematical literacy, in 2006 it was on scientific literacy, and in 2009 the focus returned to reading literacy.

Achievement scales with an OECD mean score of 500 and standard deviation of 100 were established for reading literacy in PISA 2000, mathematical literacy in PISA 2003, and scientific literacy in PISA 2006 as the benchmark against which performance has since been measured22 . PISA defines proficiency levels anchored at certain score points on the achievement scales to describe types of tasks that students at a certain level would typically be able to perform. Means and distributions of the scores are also reported.

________________________________________ top

Table 39 New Zealand PISA participation

Year Students Schools
2000 3,667 153
2003 4,500 173
2006 5,000 170
2009 4,60023 ~175

________________________________________

Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) is a five-yearly comparative study of reading achievement, and is part of a regular cycle of international student assessments co-ordinated by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). The first survey was carried out in countries including New Zealand in 2001, and the second in 2005. The average reading literacy score for New Zealand in statistical terms did not change from 2001 to 2005. The third cycle of PIRLS is scheduled to be administered in New Zealand and other Southern Hemisphere countries in late-2010, and in Northern Hemisphere countries in early 2011. Although the international data will not be available until the end of 2012, some preliminary (national) data will become available during the first half of 2012.

PIRLS aims to provide teachers, principals, policymakers, and the public with information about the reading literacy skills and abilities of middle primary school students. PIRLS studies two main reasons why students read: reading for literacy experience, and reading to acquire and use information. PIRLS is designed to be able to discriminate between those students who demonstrate very well developed comprehension skills for their age and those who have weak comprehension skills. The skills and strategies are tested through texts and stories, which may or may not be familiar in style, format, and length; PIRLS is not a test of reading per se.

PIRLS scores are reported with mean and 5th, 25th, 75th, and 95th percentiles. They are also reported broken down by the reading type (informative or literary) or process (retrieval and straightforward inferencing versus interpreting, integrating, and evaluating). As with the PISA exam, four points on the reading achievement scale were identified for use as international benchmarks. Approximately one-quarter of New Zealand Year-5 students (24 percent) fell into the lower-achieving category in 2005. These students did not reach the PIRLS Intermediate International Benchmark (ie scored below 475). Some of this group also did not reach the Low International Benchmark; 8 percent of Year-5 students scored below 400 overall; while 16 percent scored at least 400 but less than 475.

Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is an educational research project on student achievement in mathematics and science around the world. It is designed to measure and interpret differences in national educational systems, in order to help improve the teaching and learning of mathematics and science worldwide. In 1994, TIMSS began the first study in a regular cycle of studies at four-year intervals. TIMSS assesses achievement in mathematics and science at middle primary (Year 5) and lower secondary (Year 9) levels, and collects background information on student, classroom, and school contexts through questionnaires.

As well as providing countries with a snapshot of achievement at each cycle, participation at four-yearly intervals has allowed countries, including New Zealand, to measure trends in achievement by comparing performance across the cycles. New Zealand is currently analysing and publishing information from the fourth cycle of TIMSS, and beginning work for participation in TIMSS 2010/11. Approximately 60 countries around the world participated in TIMSS 2006/07.

Like PIRLS, TIMSS is conducted under the auspices of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) and implemented in New Zealand by the Ministry of Education’s Comparative Education Research Unit. The TIMSS assessments are organised around two dimensions: a content dimension specifying the domains or subject matter to be assessed within mathematics and science; and a cognitive dimension specifying the domains or thinking processes to be assessed. The content dimensions for mathematics are: number; geometric shapes and measures; and data display. The content dimensions for science are: life science; physical science; and earth science. For both subjects, the cognitive domains are: knowing, applying, and reasoning.


9.2.3 Attainment of School Qualificationtop

The success of an education system is manifested in, among other things, the success of individuals in finding sustainable employment. A formal school qualification is a measure of the extent to which young adults have completed a basic prerequisite for higher education and training, or many entry-level jobs.

The Ministry of Education already calculates a number of ‘indicators’ related to the qualification of school leavers that may be appropriate for use in estimates of productivity.

Indicator: Percentage of school leavers with little formal attainment top

Numerator: (Data source: Ministry of Education, March School Roll Returns)

  • Prior to 2001: the number of students who leave school without any credits towards a qualification in the National Qualifications Framework, plus the number of students that leave school with between 1–11 credits in a National Certificate.
  • 2002-2004: the number of students who leave school without any credits towards a qualification in the National Qualifications Framework, plus the number of students who leave school with between 1–13 credits at NCEA Level 1 and other NQF qualifications.
  • 2005-2007: the number of students who leave school without any credits towards a qualification in the National Qualifications Framework, plus the number of students who leave school with between 1–13 credits at any NCEA Level and other NQF qualifications.

Denominator: (Data source: Ministry of Education: March School Roll Returns)

The total number of school leavers in a given school year.


Indicator: Percentage of school leavers with NCEA Level 1 or above top

Numerator: (Data source: Ministry of Education: March School Roll Returns)

The total number of school leavers who attained one of the following as at the time they left school in a given school year:

  • NCEA Level 1 or other Level 1 NQF qualification or School Certificate; or
  • 30–59 credits at Level 2 or above for NCEA or other National Certificate at Level 2 or Sixth Form Certificate; or
  • Cambridge International Exams, International Baccalaureate, Accelerated Christian Education, or other Overseas Awards at Year 12; or
  • NCEA Level 2 or other Level 2 NQF qualification; or
  • 30–59 credits at Level 3 or above for NCEA or other National Certificate at Level 3, without University Entrance requirements; or
  • 42–59 credits level 3 or above for NCEA or other National Certificate at Level 3, with University Entrance requirements; or
  • Cambridge International Exams, International Baccalaureate, Accelerated Christian Education, or other Overseas Awards at Year 13; or
  • University Entrance; or
  • NCEA Level 3 or other Level 3 NQF Qualification; or
  • University Bursary (A or B); or
  • NZ Scholarship or National Certificate Level 4,

Denominator: (Data source: Ministry of Education: March School Roll Returns)

The total number of school leavers in a given school year.

Indicator: Percentage of school leavers with NCEA Level 2 or above top

Numerator: (Data source: Ministry of Education: March School Roll Returns)

The total number of school leavers who attained:

  • NCEA Level 2 or other Level 2 NQF qualification; or
  • 30–59 credits at Level 3 or above for NCEA or other National Certificate at Level 3, without University Entrance requirements; or
  • 42–59 credits level 3 or above for NCEA or other National Certificate at Level 3, with University Entrance requirements; or
  • Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) or overseas award (including International Baccalaureate) at Year 13; or
  • University Entrance; or
  • National Certificate Level 3; or
  • University Bursary (A or B); or
  • NZ Scholarship or National Certificate Level 4,

as at the time they left school in a given school year.

Denominator: (Data source: Ministry of Education: March School Roll Returns)

The total number of school leavers in a given school year.


Indicator: School leavers with a university entrance standard top

Numerator: (Data Source: Ministry of Education: March Roll Returns)

The total number of school leavers who attained:

  • 42–59 credits level 3 or above for NCEA or other National Certificate at Level 3 with University Entrance requirements; or
  • Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) or overseas award (including International Baccalaureate) at Year 13; or
  • University Entrance; or
  • National Certificate Level 3; or
  • University Bursary (A or B); or
  • NZ Scholarship or National Certificate Level 4,

as at the time they left school in a given school year.

Denominator: (Data Source: Ministry of Education: March Roll Returns)

The total number of school leavers in a given school year.

Known interpretation issues with the NCEA qualification indicators top

NCEA is part of the National Qualifications Framework and has replaced School Certificate, Sixth Form Certificate, and University Entrance/University Bursary qualifications. In 2002, all schools implemented NCEA Level 1, replacing School Certificate. In 2003, NCEA Level 2 was rolled-out; however, schools were still able to offer a transitional Sixth Form Certificate Programme. From 2004, Level 3 NCEA replaced Higher School Certificate and University Entrance/University Bursaries. In 2004, a new Level 4 qualification, New Zealand Scholarship was also offered. See section 7.2.4 for a more complete discussion of various school qualifications used.

Due to methodological changes in the allocation of attainment levels in 2003 and 2004, for leavers achieving a qualification between little or no formal attainment and UE standard, the percentages of leavers with at least NCEA Level 1 in both 2003 and 2004 are not comparable with other years, and have been omitted.

Data are available to recalculate the rates separately for public, private, and integrated schools.

The Ministry also offers highest attainment by school leavers in a more continuous form, with half-steps between NCEA levels. Whatever approach is taken, there will be a break in the series with the introduction of NCEA.

________________________________________top

Table 40 Highest Attainment of School Leavers 2002 to 2004

Level Of Attainment University Bursary (1) Entrance Qualification (2) Higher School Certificate (3) # NCEA Level 2 / 6th Form Cert. (4) NCEA Level 1 (5) 14+ credits at NCEA Level 1 (6) No Qualifications (7) Total
Year No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.
2002 10,018 4,144 6,147 12,941 1,964 7,747 9,585 52,546
2003 10,523 4,845 7,292 13,235 4,398 4,983 8,195 53,471
 
 
Level Of Attainment NCEA Level 3 or higher (8) 30+ Credits at NCEA Level 3 NCEA Level 2 (9) 30+ Credits at NCEA Level 2 (10) NCEA Level 1(11) # 14+ credits at NCEA Level 1 (6) No Qualifications (7) Total
Year No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.
2004 17,850 4,523 11,566 4,357 5,799 4,445 7,094 55,634

Note: # Figures include students gaining one or more subjects in School Certificate or Sixth Form Certificate, irrespective of the grade awarded.

(1) Includes Scholarship, A or B Bursary, NQF Level 3, and NQF Level 4.

2 Includes at least 42 credits at NQF Level 3, Accelerated Christian Education Certificate (ACE) and overseas awards at Year 13 level.

3 Includes 14 to 41 credits at NQF Level 3 or above.

4 Includes Sixth Form Certificate, at least 14 credits at NQF Level 2, NQF Level 2, ACE or overseas awards at Year 12 level and 1-13 credits at Level 3 or above

5 Includes other NQF at Level 1, and 1 to 13 credits at Level 2 or above.

6 Includes School Certificate in one or more subjects, and ACE or overseas awards at Year 11 level.

7 Includes fewer than 14 credits at Level 1.

8 Includes NZ scholarship, NQF at Level 4, University Bursary, NQF Level 3, NCEA Level 3, University Entrance, International Baccalaureate Diploma, Accelerated Christian Education Certificate Year 13 and other overseas awards at year 13 level.

9 Includes NCEA Level 2 and Other NQF Level 2 Qualifications

10 Includes 30+ credits at Level 2 or above, Accelerated Christian Education Certificate Year 12 and other overseas awards at Year Level 12.

11 Includes NCEA Level 1 and Other Level 1 NQF Qualification

________________________________________

 

Recommendation E20 top

Student attainment data are available for estimating output quality, but poses challenges in continuity (qualifications) and periodicity (achievement tests). Stakeholder engagement is recommended for any decisions on the suitability of adjusting for attainment, and the correct distribution of point-in-time achievement over a pupil’s schooling career.

 
 

Recommendation E21 top

If used, qualification achievements must not be treated as a continuous measure in which each level of attainment has equal value that can be summed together. Care must also be taken around the discontinuity in the qualifications series, marked by the introduction of NCEA in 2002.

9.2.4 Student and school quality assessmentstop

National working parties or committees of enquiry between 1962 and 1990 highlighted a need for dependable and consistent information about the educational achievements, attitudes, and motivation of New Zealand students. To this end, national monitoring began in general education settings in 1995, and in Mäori -medium settings in 1999. Other countries have used national monitoring for up to 30 years.

Since 1995, the National Education Monitoring Project (NEMP) has been conducting annual surveys of the achievement of Year-4 and Year-8 students in the New Zealand education system. A light sampling approach is used, involving about three percent of the students (1,440 students) at each year level. Tasks are administered using a variety of approaches, such as one-to-one interviews with a teacher (videotaped), team activities involving four students (videotaped), activities arranged in a series of stations, and ‘tests’ undertaken in parallel by four students. Video clips are used as resources for many of the tasks, and extensive use is made of other visual or audio material, equipment, and supplies. Some tasks are presented and responded to on laptop computers. Over a four-year cycle, very broad coverage of the school curriculum is achieved, with 15 different learning areas covered during the cycle. The assessments are administered by about 100 experienced teachers, seconded from their schools for this purpose for six weeks (which includes a week of special training). All marking is done after task administration is completed, and each year involves about 6,000 hours work by senior university teacher education students and 3,500 hours work by experienced teachers.

________________________________________ top

Table 41 NEMP Forums by year of assessment

2007
2003
1999
1995
Science
Art
Graphs, tables, and maps
2008
2004
2000
1996
Music
Aspects of technology
Reading and speaking
2009
2005
2001
1997
Information skills
Social studies
Mathematics
2010
2006
2002
1998
Listening and viewing
Health and Physical education.
Writing

Source: National Education Monitoring Project

________________________________________

Each report involves a great deal of comparison by gender, socio-economic status, and ethnicity, as well as some comparison between Year-4 and Year-8. Although NEMP assessments are comparable over time through the use of link times, there are substantial changes between years.

While these monitoring reports are highly detailed and comprehensive, they are unlikely to assist in constructing productivity estimates because of their qualitative nature. We may be able use them as sources of triangulation data.

The Education Review Office (ERO) is a government department whose purpose is to evaluate and report publicly on the education and care of students in schools and early childhood services. ERO’s findings inform decisions and choices made by parents, teachers, managers, trustees, and others, at the individual school and early childhood level, and at the national level by government policymakers.

________________________________________top

Figure 3 The New Zealand early childhood and school education system


Source: Education Review Office

________________________________________

In an Education Review, ERO investigates and reports to boards of trustees, managers of early childhood education services, and the Government on the quality of education provided for children and students at individual centres and schools.

Schools and early childhood services are reviewed, on average, once every three years. Reviews are undertaken more frequently where the performance of a school or centre is poor and there are risks to the education and safety of the students. ERO's reports on individual schools and early childhood services are freely available to the public.

Because the law requires that students educated at home be taught as regularly and well as in a registered school, ERO also reports to the Secretary for Education on the education of homeschooled students.

As with the reports of the National Education Monitoring Project, ERO reports are quite comprehensive but don’t lend themselves to quantitative comparison.

Recommendation E22 top

The available quality assessments by the National Education Monitoring Project and the Educational Review Office are not sufficiently quantitative or longitudinally consistent to be used in indexes of quality change for adjustment of educational output quantity.

9.2.4 Employment Outcomes of Tertiary Education (EOTE)top

Statistics NZ has undertaken a feasibility study exploring integrating data on tertiary enrolments and completions, and industry training student records with the Linked Employer-Employee Data (LEED), for the purposes of studying the employment outcomes of tertiary education.

The high match rate (89.5 percent) and relatively low false positive rate (1.4 percent) indicate that it is feasible to create an integrated dataset for all students with a national student number. Because the National Student Index is maintained, there is a guarantee that the quality of the linking should not decrease over time. If an integrated dataset is created, it may be useful as a source of quality data.


9.3 Education: output quantity weightstop

9.3.1 Concept

In the absence of market prices, the best estimation of the relative value of different educational services is the sum of costs from all public and private sources.

9.3.1 Data sourcestop

________________________________________

Table 42 Summary of available data sources for education output quantity weights

Data source Details Issues & limitations
ECE
RS71
Contains total cost per child-hour of ECE, broken down by age From 2000. Covers only teacher-led, centre-based ECE
Schools
Financial information database for schools (FIDS)
Stores schools’ financial accounts, with detailed info on income and expenditure. Broken down by school type and authority Includes private schools
Tertiary
Financial Performance of Public TEIs
Financial performance information published annually by MOE From 2000. Covers only public institutions
Single Data Return Tertiary Staffing and PBRF Staffing collections Available from 1994, includes PTEs who receive government funding from 2000 forward
Statistics NZ internal sources Aggregate income, expenditure and capital formation data Covers public and private

________________________________________


9.4 Education: inputstop

________________________________________

Table 43 Summary of available data sources for education input

Data source Details Issues & limitations
ECE time series of interest already published by MOE Teacher FTEs by provider typeNumber of usual teaching staff in licensed ECE services by highest qualification and type of service

ECE
RS71
detailed information about the hours worked by various types of staff, Breakdown by qualification and type of service data from 2001 From 2000
Schools
Teacher Payroll Data Warehouse
Comprehensive database of payroll transactional data for teachers, principles, and portion of support staff State and state integrated schools only. From 1999
Schools
Teacher Census
3-yearly census captures years of experience, qualification, registration, and professional development State and state integrated schools only. From 1999
Schools
Financial information database for schools (FIDS)
Stores schools’ financial accounts, with detailed info on intermediate consumption and capital formation. Broken down by school type and authority Includes private schools
Tertiary
Staffing data collections
Academic FTEs by appointment type, rank and sub-sector; non-academic FTEs by subsector Academic backdated to 1994/5. Non-academic from 2000

________________________________________


9.4.1 Collection RS71 (Survey of Operational Costs and Fees to teacher-led Centre-based ECE services)top

Overview

This survey collects information on the costs of providing ECE services. Information from the survey is used to update ECE funding rates, including rates for free ECE.

Coverage

All teacher-led, centre-based ECE services.

Timing (frequency, time reference, length of time series)

Was collected in 2005, 2006, and 2008 (not yet available). As such, it is not useful as a time series but only as benchmarks.

Use in a measure of productivity

Source of ECE data by service type for: cost per child by age, capital input in current dollars; relative weights of capital, labour, and intermediate consumption; and labour input quantity (FTEs) by type.

Known issues

Interpolation required for non-survey years.

Key variablestop

The following variables (in bold), along with short descriptions, are those which should be considered useful when analysing ECE information for measuring change in output.

Teacher salaries, including gross salaries and wages for all staff primarily engaged in the education and care of children. Includes trained, untrained, in-training, permanent and relieving teachers, and teachers employed through an agency. Includes payments for leave and long service leave, and vehicle costs if they are part of a salary package.

Mixed duty staff salaries, includes gross salaries and wages for staff members who spend part of their time teaching and part of their time in administrative duties.

Admin staff salaries, includes gross salaries and wages for all non-teaching administrative staff employed, such as management staff, support staff, cook, cleaner, and office staff.

Staff overheads, includes costs such as ACC levies, allowances, superannuation and Kiwisaver employer contributions, staff travel, subscriptions, teacher registration contribution, recruitment, and payroll services.

Professional development, includes the costs of any course fees, transport, accommodation, or other expenses incurred as part of a staff member taking part in professional development.

Admin resources, includes stationery supplies, computer/fax/photocopier consumables (eg ink cartridges), and postage.

Educational resources, includes books, puzzles, games, art and craft supplies, and play equipment.

Professional services, includes accounting, auditing, legal, human resources, and administration services provided on contract by a professional service provider.

Utilities, includes electricity, gas, water, and phone/fax/internet charges.

Other operating costs, includes all other costs incurred in the day-to-day running of the ECE service that are not covered in any of the preceding categories (eg insurance, advertising, food, bank fees, cleaning, medical supplies, special events – such as parties and excursions, vehicle costs, and gardening costs).

Property and equipment costs, includes land, buildings, playground equipment, furniture, fittings and fixtures, office equipment (eg computer, photocopier) and whiteware.

Gross Fixed Capital formation

Total hours of enrolment

Costs per hour for individual child by age, broken down into fees outside of 20 Hours free ECE, optional charges, and parent donations.

Level of disaggregation for a measure of output quantity change

Service type, labour type (teaching, mixed, admin, support)

Access to dataset

The MOE holds this dataset.

Corresponding weights

FTEs by labour type, cost per child by age (output cost weights).

9.4.2 Teacher Censustop

The Teacher Census is a survey of teachers working in state and state integrated schools carried out by the Ministry of Education every three years. Teacher Census data collections have taken place in 1998, 2001, and 2004. Ethnicity and date of birth information collected by the Census is used to validate details held on the payroll. Aggregate Teacher Census information is analysed by the Ministry of Education, and results are published and made available to teachers, schools, and teacher organisations.

Whilst Teacher Census questions vary for each census, they essentially cover a range of areas including date of birth, gender, ethnicity, iwi (first collected 2004), teacher registration status, qualifications, years of teaching service in New Zealand and overseas, current designation, professional development, labour market interest, proficiency to teach the curriculum in a language other than English, delivering the curriculum in Māori or a Pasifika language (first collected 2004), secondary teacher teaching subjects, and year of schooling level of students taught.

In total, 43,759 teachers took part in the 2004 Teacher Census, a response rate of 91 percent of teachers who were teaching in the week of the Census. The teacher response rate was very high across all school types.


9.4.3 Teacher qualificationstop

Teacher qualifications: primary and intermediate schools

Numerator: (Data Source: Ministry of Education : Teacher Census)

Highest teaching qualification held by all primary and intermediate school teachers who completed the 2004 Teacher Census of teachers in State and State Integrated schools, who started their teaching in New Zealand, by number of years in the teaching workforce.

Denominator: (Data Source: Ministry of Education: Teacher Census)

Total number of primary and intermediate school teachers who completed the 2001 Teacher Census of teachers in State and State Integrated schools, who started their teaching in New Zealand, by number of years in the teaching workforce.

Teacher qualifications: secondary schoolstop

Numerator: (Data Source: Ministry of Education: Teacher Census)

Total number of secondary school teachers who completed the 2001 Teacher Census of teachers in State and State Integrated schools, who started their teaching in New Zealand, by number of years in the teaching workforce.

Denominator: (Data Source: Ministry of Education: Teacher Census)

Total number of secondary school teachers who completed the 2001 Teacher Census of teachers in State and State Integrated schools, who started their teaching in New Zealand, by number of years in the teaching workforce.

Interpretation issues with teacher qualifications measurestop

Comparing the qualification profiles of first year teachers who entered the service at different points in time gives an indication of how the qualifications of new teachers have changed over the last 30 years. It may not be a completely accurate reflection of the trend because some teachers will since have left the service and be excluded from the survey.

Different aspects of teacher qualifications (eg higher academic qualifications, pedagogical knowledge, access to teaching experience as an integrated part of initial teacher education) show different relationships to student outcomes depending on the curriculum area; the age of the student taught; the specific links between subject-specific knowledge in training and the curriculum areas taught; and the nature and quality of initial teacher education experience. Length of initial teacher education has been found to be related to effectiveness, particularly with diverse students, but length is also related to quality. This indicator is under development, as a best evidence synthesis commissioned to support the indicator development is in progress. This indicator provides an overview of teacher qualifications for 40 years, but is under construction because further work would need to be carried out to distinguish between the length of different qualifications, and emerging findings from the best evidence synthesis show specific characteristics of qualifications to be linked to student achievement outcomes.

There are methodological problems in the research and contextual variations in findings across different countries that we cannot resolve in relation to the New Zealand context because we do not have outcomes-linked evidence. In a survey for the Education Review Office (1999) 45 percent of primary and 40 percent of secondary principals were seeking higher entry-level standards for teacher training in New Zealand. Primary principals' reported experiencing difficulty in recruiting New Zealand teachers who had at least successfully completed their Year-10 mathematics courses.

9.4.4 Tertiary inputstop

The Single Data Return, described in section 9.1.3 above, is the primary data source for tertiary labour inputs information, along with the data already used in the government and national accounts.

9.5 Education: complementary indicatorstop

This sub-section sets out a number of complimentary indicators that might be useful in helping to interpret education output, inputs, and productivity indicators, as discussed in section 5.4.3.

Education serves a variety of purposes for the individual student, for families, and for society at large. Not all of these are reflected in a measure of economic productivity. Some of them negatively impact economic productivity by requiring a trade-off between economic efficiency and other goals, as in the choice to keep rural schools open so that children can go to school in their home community. There is no consensus, domestically or internationally, on the relationship between these factors and education quality. Different users apply differing weights to these factors, depending on their perspective as parents, community members, educational policymakers, labour economists, etc. Some of these factors are presented below, with suggestions for complementary measures to capture them.

It bears repeating that output is not the same as outcome, as discussed at some length in sections 5.3 and 5.4. Education outcomes as defined by in the Ministry of Education’s 2008 Statement of intent are as follows:

  • All children develop strong learning foundations
  • All young people participate, engage, and achieve in education
  • Learners have access to high-quality Maori language education that delivers positive language and learning outcomes
  • The education system produces the knowledge and develops people with the skills to drive New Zealand’s future economic and social success
  • Education agencies work efficiently and effectively to achieve education outcomes.

Accesstop

One of the missions of the education system is to provide access to a standard quality of free, secular education to New Zealanders, regardless of geography, race, and socio-economic background. Supporting this principle of equity of access can be costly and less efficient in the short run, but is believed to be better for society in the long-run by enabling individuals to contribute to the fullest of their abilities. It requires preserving schools’ viability by preventing schools from becoming so small that per-student costs are unacceptably high and school performance is compromised. Growth of some schools can affect the rolls of others, impacting on their viability. Students who attend schools with viability concerns may have their access to quality education compromised.

Distance: Small rural schools lack the economies of scale experience by larger schools. They require similar buildings, transportation, and services to larger schools, but serve fewer students at a much higher marginal cost. What is optimal for the school system as a network may not be optimal for students and their families, who value schooling close to where they live. An ongoing measure of mean distance travelled between home and school would provide users with information about the changes in geographic distribution associated with changes in educational productivity.

Guaranteed quality: The Ministry of Education is committed to the principle that ‘every school should be a good school’. Rather than reallocating resources and students to high-performing schools, resources are targeted to improve quality at poorly performing schools. A variety of initiatives, for student engagement and learning environment development, target schools as a unit rather than individual teachers or students.

Access to ECE: Research shows that time spent in early childhood education (ECE) enhances future learning. Additionally, it frees up parents of young children to participate in the workforce. These outcomes are sufficiently desirable that the government has subsidised the cost of early childhood education to increase participation. The Ministry of Education already publishes an indicator of ECE participation rates going back to 199024.

Affordability of tertiary education: Another principal of equal access suggests that students with the interest and aptitude should be able to continue their education and fulfil their potential as an individual and as a member of society, regardless of socio-economic background. The Ministry of Education has published analysis of the affordability of tertiary education since 1997. This question is answered by looking at the overall cost of tertiary education relative to incomes, as well as the balance of public and private financing of tertiary education. While important for analysing the distribution of educational services, this question is not clearly related to economic productivity.

Target populations: Māori and Pasifika education are priority areas of work for government and the Ministry of Education, which have specific strategies and performance targets25 26 . These metrics can provide information about the ethnic distribution of educational services and outcomes, which are outside of the scope of economic productivity.

In the classroomtop

It goes without saying that actions in the classroom, on both the student and teacher side, have a substantial influence on educational outcomes. These can have positive and negative impacts on economic productivity. If not specified in the quantity or quality of inputs and output, these changes will come through in the productivity residual as disembodied technical change.

Student participation and engagement: Research shows that more engaged students have better outcomes for the same number of hours of education. It has been suggested in the output section of this paper that output be adjusted for attendance; if it is not, attendance should be considered as a complementary statistic. Student engagement is a subjective state that is difficult to measure. The Ministry of Education has opted to measure secondary manifestations of engagement: student retention and school disciplinary actions such as suspensions, stand-downs, and expulsions27. Efforts to reduce these disciplinary interventions increase educational output if it is defined as attendance-adjusted.

Effective teachers: Teacher qualifications, academic skill in the subject taught, experience, and teaching skills have a strong influence on student experience in the classroom, increasing engagement and overall outcome. The Ministry of Education data on initial teacher training and ongoing development, reported in the inputs section above, can be incorporated into a quality-adjusted labour input measure, or it can be reported as a complementary statistic.

Class size: International opinion on the relationship between class size and educational outcomes is mixed28. It is important enough to merit inclusion as a quality-adjustment option in the draft OECD handbook on measuring education output, but has fallen out of favour as a determining factor in NZ education policy; as a result, research showing that effective teaching, regardless of class size, has a more powerful impact29. Limited class sizes are desirable to some parents, but increase the marginal cost of educational output. Student-teacher ratio by level of schooling is not currently published as an indicator by the Ministry of Education, but could be published as a complementary statistic.

Access to ICT: Increasing the use of computers in the classroom is widely believed to be essential preparation for individuals in a knowledge-based economy. However, the research on the effect this has on educational outcomes is inconclusive as of yet. ICT represents a substantial capital expenditure that negatively impacts present capital productivity, in anticipation of future gain that may be realised only in other parts of the economy. The ratio of students to classroom computers, and the proportion of schools with broadband access would show changes in this access over time.

Outside of the classroomtop

There are a variety of factors outside of the classroom which are known to improve educational outcomes, such as parental and community engagement in schooling. These fall outside of the production boundary, but may have a positive impact on productivity. Measures of engagement may help users understand changes in the productivity residual. The Ministry of Education has identified a number of predictors of family engagement, including educational attainment of primary caregivers, proportion of children in low-income or single-parent households, and early identification of hearing loss (which affects intellectual development if uncorrected)30.


22 Interim measures for mathematical literacy (PISA 2000) and scientific literacy (PISA 2000 and PISA 2003) were available.
23 Preliminary figures.
24 http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/indicators/student_participation/early_childhood_education/1923.
25 http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/themes/maori-education/31351.
26 http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/themes/pasifika_education.
27 http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/indicators/student_participation.
28 See Blatchford (2009) for a summary of the class size debate.
29 See for example Hattie (2005).
30 http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/indicators/family_and_community_engagement.

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