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Post date: Thursday, 7 November 2019

NZCER National Survey of schools - 30 years on

Dr. Linda Bonne reflects on 30 years of the NZCER National Survey of schools, as the Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce’s review report is soon to be released.

A big thank you to everyone who completed a National Survey this year. We really appreciate the time principals, teachers, trustees, and parents spend responding to the surveys to share their views.

It’s now 30 years since the surveys began, at a time of significant change in our education system. As Cathy Wylie explained in the first report:

In January 1989 I developed the idea of an annual national survey over the next three years to see how primary and intermediate schools were fairing through the radical changes to the administration of New Zealand’s schools, Tomorrow’s Schools. These changes shift responsibility for spending and school policies, within national guidelines, from a government department working through ten Education Boards as well as its own local units, to individual schools. they envisage a deeper partnership between school staff and parents of children at the school though its governing body, the Board of Trustees.

Three decades later, the surveys run on a 3-year cycle which includes a survey of secondary schools. The themes in the surveys are continually updated to cover new initiatives, policy changes, and emerging issues. For example, this year’s survey asked for people’s views relating to education for a changing climate, supporting respect for diversity, and learning with digital technologies. More constant over the years have been questions about the workload, morale, and career plans of teachers and principals.

The survey is now closed, and our team is looking forward to working with the data and reading the comments people wrote.

The report will be released in the first half of 2020 on the project website, where you will also find the 1989 report:

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