Education Minister Trevor Mallard today released an Education Review Office report into the effect of different schools
on the quality of education received by children in Years 7 and 8.
"There is significant public debate around the ideal shape of schooling for the middle years," Trevor Mallard said.
" New Zealand is unusual in having so many options, including full primary schools, intermediate schools, middle
schools, area schools and Year 7 to 13 schools.
"The report looks at international comparisons and good practice for educating students around that 11 and 12 year old
level. It also analyses the extent to which different models of school are meeting the needs of Year 7 and 8 students.
"It finds that the type of school does not determine how well a school meets the needs of Year 7 and 8 students. It is
the quality of the practices rather than the structures that determines outcomes.
"There is also a noticeable link between the quality of education and the size of the school. Small schools and schools
with small Year 7 and 8 cohorts appear to find it more difficult to adopt practices which are effective in meeting the
needs of these students.
The report raises a number of issues that need further policy work, such as:
* the structure of future schooling
* effective transition between schools
* the balance of specialist teaching and an integrated teaching environments
"Most importantly, more work needs to be done to improve the overall quality of education in small schools, which are
largely located in rural areas. ERO will investigate and report further on this issue in 2001.
"No immediate policy changes are planned, but further work may impact on clearer policy directions in the future,"
Trevor Mallard said.