A list of our content (including reports, articles, blog posts, and published letters) about educational institutions (the Ministry of Education, schools, polytechnics, universities, or wānanga) or education topics.
Results of the 2020 school audits

December 2021: This detailed information sets out the results of the school audits for 2020. We have provided this information, and a list of recommendations, to the Secretary for Education.

Tertiary education institutions: 2019 audit results and what we saw in 2020

November 2020: This report summarises the main findings of our 2019 audits of the 27 public tertiary education institutions. We also comment on the tertiary education sector’s operating environment in 2020, including the effects of the reforms of vocational education and Covid-19, and what this might mean for the sector in 2021.

Inquiry into the University of Auckland’s decision to purchase a house in Parnell

November 2020: In November 2019, the University of Auckland purchased a house in Parnell for about $5 million. The University said the house would be used for accommodation, business-related operations, and functions. We have looked at how the University managed the purchase of the Parnell house from a sensitive expenditure perspective.

Results of the 2019 school audits

November 2020: This detailed information sets out the results of the school audits for 2019. We have provided this information, and a list of recommendations, to the Secretary for Education.

Results of the 2018 school audits

November 2019: This detailed information sets out the results of the school audits for 2018. We have provided this information, and a list of recommendations, to the Secretary for Education.

Letter to the Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce Letter to the Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce

9 April 2019: The Independent Taskforce on the Review of Tomorrow’s Schools has recommended changes to the education system. Although we do not have a view on the proposed structural changes to the education system, we have written to the Taskforce setting out some matters for it to consider as it develops its proposals further.

Tertiary Education Institutions: Changes to the requirements for performance reporting in annual reports

February 2019: Recent changes to the Education Act 1989 require tertiary education institutes' statement of service performance (SSP) for 2019 to comply with generally accepted accounting practice. In this letter we discuss the upcoming changes to SSP requirements for tertiary education institutes' annual reports, provide some guidance on performance reporting, and recommend next steps for further information and support.

Results of the 2017 school audits

December 2018: This detailed information sets out the results of the school audits for 2017. We have provided this information, and a list of recommendations, to the Secretary for Education.

Results of the 2016 school audits

December 2017: This detailed information sets out the results of the school audits for 2016. We have provided this information to the Secretary for Education.

Results of the 2016 audits of tertiary education institutions

November 2017: We summarise the results of the tertiary education institution audits for the year ended 31 December 2016. We provide a brief introduction to our audit work and an update on timeliness and completion of the 2016 audits. We also report on the types of audit opinions we issued, and note the main matters we identified from our audits.

Managing the school property portfolio

July 2017: The school property portfolio, valued at about $14 billion at 30 June 2016, is one of the largest publicly owned portfolios of property assets. For this report, we looked at the effectiveness of the Ministry of Education’s property strategy and its role as an asset manager, including how well it plans, monitors, and reports on its performance against the strategy.

Inquiry into state schools requesting payments in connection with out-of-zone places

May 2017: Our inquiry looked into the practice of five Auckland state schools that asked for payments in connection with out-of-zone enrolment applications for the 2016 and 2017 school years. We found one school asking for this kind of fee and have recommended that it cease doing so. In the schools we visited that asked for donations, we found that the donations were voluntary and that a child’s chance of gaining an out-of-zone place was not affected by their family’s decision about whether to pay the donation. However, we also found that some of the schools’ enrolment material should have been clearer that the donations were voluntary and not required for applications to be processed. We also found that the Ministry needs to improve its guidance to schools and ensure that schools are given coherent and consistent advice on payments in connection with out-of-zone places.

Investing in tertiary education assets

February 2017: This report considers the effectiveness of investment in tertiary education sector assets to support educational success. There is an opportunity for education agencies, tertiary education institutions, and other stakeholders to explore the measurement of the effectiveness of investments in assets, and the potential opportunities for more sector-based investment decisions. We hope that this report will start conversations in the tertiary sector about the further development and reporting of a range of cost-effectiveness measures and tools, for the sector and for individual institutions.

Results of the 2015 school audits

December 2016: We reported on the results of the 2015 school audits to the Ministry of Education on 21 October 2016. This information, on the completion of the 2015 school audits and the types of opinions we issued, was included in our report to the Ministry of Education.

Summary of our Education for Māori reports

October 2016: Every child in New Zealand deserves to thrive physically, academically, socially, and culturally. However, too many Māori children leave school without the education they deserve.

Education for Māori: Using information to improve Māori educational success

June 2016: This report focuses on the use of information across the education sector to support Māori educational success. Although Māori educational achievement is improving overall, results for Māori students from roughly similar communities, being educated in roughly similar settings and circumstances, are very different. Schools must collect, analyse, and use information about Māori students to ensure that they are doing everything they can to give Māori students the best chance at a great education.

Education for Māori: Relationships between schools and whānau

February 2015: This is the second report in a five-year programme of work to find out how well the education system supports Māori students to achieve their full potential. In this report, we look at whether schools and whānau are forming effective relationships. We found that there is a risk that some schools do not focus enough on improving their relationships because they think that they have better relationships with whānau than whānau think they do. Our report provides an opportunity for people to think about their schools and their relationships, to understand the differences between schools, and to work to build and use relationships more effectively.

Schools: Results of the 2012 audits

May 2014: Up to 28 February 2014, we completed nearly 2450 audits of schools’ financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2012. This report presents the results from our audits of those statements. This report also includes an overview of the financial health of schools as a whole, and articles on state-integrated schools, Kura Kaupapa Māori, and changes to schools’ financial reporting requirements...

Continuing to improve how you report on your TEI’s service performance

December 2013: This is a short document for finance and strategy staff in tertiary education institutions, designed to help them continue to improve their service performance reporting. Organisations that report their service performance well have integrated their strategic planning and objectives with their reporting requirements. They use both these processes to enhance their governance, prioritisation, decision-making, and overall performance...

Education for Māori: Implementing Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success

May 2013: This is the second report in our five-year programme of audits examining the performance of the education system for Māori. We found reason for optimism that the Government’s strategy for education for Māori, Ka Hikitia, will increasingly enable Māori students to succeed. Ka Hikitia is a well-researched and well-consulted document that has the backing of Māori. However, there has been only modest improvement overall in Māori students’ academic results since Ka Hikitia was launched...