Realising the potential of every child

An independent review of staffing in primary schools

Download the full PDF report



class="js-cm-email-input qa-input-email" id="fieldEmail" maxlength="200"
name="cm-btjujik-btjujik" required="" type="email">

maxlength="200" name="cm-f-dihdlkc" value="puaotangaReport">

required="" type="checkbox">
id="cm-privacy-consent-hidden" name="cm-privacy-consent-hidden" type="hidden"

You can view
full privacy policy here


The model used to determine staffing levels has been in place for over 25 years

Fundamental changes are required to the 'one-size-fits-all' education system we have right now.

Teachers love what they do

But lack of funding means that they don't have the support they need to make sure every child has access to a quality education.

National monitoring standards show that many students are falling behind in key areas by the time they reach year 8:

Social Studies
Health & PE


Percentage of students falling behind in these subjects according to national monitoring standards.

"Redesigning the system requires a reimagining of our primary schooling system so that it is fit for purpose for all children in the 21st century. Then we need to reimagine the staffing resources that make 'good' possible."

So, what are the issues?


Teachers are exhausted, dispirited and many are close to burnout, most don't see any way forward or anything getting better.

Teacher Supply

Teachers feel undervalued, and they're worried that young people are seeing the workload and burnout which will put them off entering the sector.

Parity with Secondary

Primary staff, especially primary principals are concerned about the lack of parity in funding, staffing and pay between primary and secondary schools.

We're letting our Māori and Pasifika communities down

There are strong feelings that the education system is racist and not geared to deliver for Māori or Pasifika children. Support in this space is a need, not a want as teachers and support staff battle to preserve and encourage cultural education under and ever increasing time pressure and administrative burdens.

The Path Forward

We need systemic change with a clear pathway towards staffing levels that allow teachers to support every child to reach their potential. This means, amongst other things:

  • More sustainable classroom ratios
  • Increased classroom release time
  • Increased funding for specialised support staff, including teacher aides and Kaiārahi i te reo
  • Increase the base of the Māori Immersion Teaching Allowance (MITA) and a matched allowance for Pasifika teachers
  • Increased management staffing entitlement with a guaranteed minimum of 0.5 FTE professional leadership staffing

Want to know more?

Enter your email to get your PDF copy of the full report

You can view our full privacy policy here