OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education: New Zealand 2011

image of OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education: New Zealand 2011

This report on New Zealand provides, from an international perspective, an independent analysis of major issues facing the educational evaluation and assessment framework, current policy initiatives, and possible future approaches.



Executive summary

Since the establishment of self-managing schools in 1989, New Zealand has one of the most devolved school systems in the world. Average student learning outcomes are very good by international comparison even though there are concerns about the proportion of students that are not performing well. The current priorities for the school sector are to lift student achievement in literacy and numeracy, enable all young people to achieve worthwhile qualifications and ensure that M..ori students achieve education success “as M..ori”. As part of the national strategy to achieve these goals, New Zealand has developed its own distinctive model of evaluation and assessment characterised by a high level of trust in schools and school professionals. There are no full-cohort national tests and teachers are given prime responsibility to assess their students’ learning. Teachers also have a good degree of ownership of their own appraisal and are involved in school self-review. In recent years, school self-review has become the centre piece of school evaluation while the Education Review Office provides an external validation of the process and focuses on building self-review capacity. The principle of evidence-based policy making is well established and there is a high degree of self-awareness at various levels of the education system. Building on recent reforms and developments already underway, this report suggests a range of policy options to ensure that the overall evaluation and assessment framework is coherent, efficient and responsive to the needs of New Zealand’s education system.


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