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OECD education survey – It’s about how money is used

Hon Hekia Parata
Minister of Education

20 February 2012

It’s not how much money, but how it’s used – OECD education survey

Education Minister, Hekia Parata, today welcomed a new report showing New Zealand students are continuing to perform well compared with their overseas counterparts.

The OECD programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report assessed whether a country’s wealth had a bearing on attainment at school.

New Zealand was singled out as a top performer achieving better-than-average results despite its comparatively low gross domestic product.

Ms Parata says the report shows expenditure levels should not be a barrier to achievement.

“It’s great to see that New Zealand has once again performed well in this international survey.

“However, with one in five students currently leaving school without a qualification, we have still got work to do,'' says Ms Parata.

“Our Government’s key objective is to ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed. Over the next three years we want to significantly raise achievement for all students, especially those groups of students who have historically under performed.’’

Ms Parata says it's clear that a number of factors influence achievement.

“It was interesting to note in the report that successful systems in high income economies tend to prioritise the quality of teachers over the size of classes. In New Zealand we are already well aware that high quality teaching is extremely important.''

You can view the full report here.

In summary it showed:

• Greater national wealth or higher expenditure on education does not guarantee better student performance. Among high income economies, the amount spent on education is less important than how resources are used.

• Successful systems in high income economies tend to prioritise the quality of teachers over the size of classes.

• School systems that perform well in PISA believe that all students can achieve and give them the opportunity to do so.

ENDS

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