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Auckland Regional Finalists in PM’s Education Awards

Media Release
For Immediate Release
Friday 5 May 2017

Auckland Regional Finalists in 2017 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards

Two Auckland schools and the Auckland Kindergarten Association are among the finalists at the 2017 Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards.

The finalists are Manurewa Intermediate School (South Auckland), Waitakere College (West Auckland), along with the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

Ministry of Education Acting Deputy Secretary for Early Learning and Student Achievement, Karl Le Quesne, says the commitment and dedication the finalists have shown towards their children and young people is to be commended.

“This year’s finalists demonstrated passion and drive to ensure best possible outcomes for all their children and young people. We wish them all the best.”

Now in their fourth year, the Awards celebrate some of the best of teaching in New Zealand.

Manurewa Intermediate School

Manurewa Intermediate School has been selected as a finalist in two Awards categories:

· Excellence in Engaging - Atahāpara Award
· Excellence in Leading - Atakura Award.

Through a strategic approach to improvement, implemented by school leaders, Manurewa Intermediate School set out a plan to ‘upgrade every aspect of the school to give the community a school it deserved, serving as a strong pillar in the community’.
A distributive leadership structure was developed which saw the assistant and deputy principals taking responsibility for a strategic goal and leading the implementation of that goal. The new structure has built on individual strengths within a team context, challenging leaders and helping them to grow their capability as leaders. While the broad programme of transformation across the school has lifted student engagement and achievement, the leadership programme has seen seven of the school’s leadership team move to take up the position of principal in their own school.

Waitakere College

Waitakere College has been selected as a finalist in two Awards categories:
· Excellence in Leading - Atakura Award
· Excellence in Teaching and Learning - Atatū Award.

Devastated by falling student achievement, Waitakere College established an NCEA Action Plan in 2013 which has led to a steady lift in achievement each year, particularly among Māori and Pasifika students.

Focusing first on lifting capability and unlocking potential across their talented staff, the school launched a comprehensive Action Plan. Curriculum and course design were adapted to respond to student interests, including a focus on e-learning and innovative vocational pathways, such as the Medical Science Academy. Changes were underpinned by monitoring and forecasting of individual achievement together with mentoring and coaching for students, and through celebrating identity and success among Maori or Pasifika students.

Auckland Kindergarten Association

Auckland Kindergarten Association has been selected as a finalist in one Awards category:

· Excellence in Governing - Awatea Award.

A changing landscape for early childhood services has prompted the Auckland Kindergarten Association to develop a 10-year strategy for high quality service. A series of evaluation projects have been undertaken over the last 12 months to develop success measures for the strategy. The project, which draws on the insights of parents, whānau, teachers and other professionals, has had positive impacts on both thinking and practice.

Awards Information

The Awards celebrate some of the best of teaching in New Zealand. This year saw 14 finalists selected from more than 140 entries.
Members of the judging panel are visiting finalists during May and June. Winners from each category will be awarded $20,000 and a professional development opportunity.
Winners will also qualify for the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award, which is presented to the school or early childhood service that has had the greatest influence on education outcomes for children and young people.
The Supreme Award winner will receive an additional $30,000 and an opportunity to represent New Zealand education.
Winners will be announced on late June. For more information on the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards, please visit their website:


The Awards concentrate on qualities that are internationally recognised as critical to raising student achievement. The five award categories are:
· Excellence in Engaging
· Excellence in Leading
· Excellence in Teaching and Learning
· Excellence in Governing
· The 2017 Education Focus Prize


Award categories, criteria and framework

Prime Minister’s Supreme Award
Takiri ko te ata

This award is selected from the winners in the Award categories and determined by the extent of improvement and impact on education outcomes.

Excellence in Engaging Award category
Atahāpara Award

This award celebrates working together as a community to transform relationships and achievement, leading to improved and sustained outcomes for all children and young people.

Excellence in Leading Award category
Atakura Award

This award celebrates leadership and influences that have strengthened professional capability and created a change in conditions, leading to improved and sustained outcomes for all children and young people.

Excellence in Teaching & Learning Award category
Atatū Award

This award celebrates teaching that transforms the learning of all children and young people, and achieves improved and sustained outcomes for them all.

Excellence in Governing Award category
Awatea Award

This award celebrates governance and management that create the conditions for leading and teaching that improve and sustain outcomes for all children and young people.

2017 Education Focus Prize
Takatū Prize

The 2017 Prize celebrates the design of responsive local curriculum, delivered through the innovative use of digital technologies to meet the aspirations of students, their whānau and communities, and achieve improved outcomes for children and young people.

2017 Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the 2017 Awards, entries must:

• be from:
o a licensed or certificated early learning/childhood service or group of services or
o a licensed or certificated early learning/childhood service's management body or
o a registered school/kura/wharekura, or group of registered schools/kura/wharekura such as a Community of Learning
• focus on improving outcomes for children and young people – in early childhood education, primary school, or secondary school, in English, Māori, or Pasifika-medium
• be from a group, team or partnership (entries about an individual are not eligible)
• be based in New Zealand
• be based around early childhood and school curriculum documents and education strategies developed in New Zealand and closely linked to teaching and learning
• not pose a risk to the credibility or integrity of the Awards.

We can't accept entries about an individual, or from groups, teams, or partnerships that include a staff member or contractor from a lead education-sector agency (e.g. Ministry of Education, Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand, Education Review Office, Education New Zealand, Tertiary Education Commission, New Zealand Qualifications Authority and Careers New Zealand).


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