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Source: New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI)

Education union endorses new report opposing outdated practice of streaming

7 April 2021

A new report opposing streaming in New Zealand schools, released today, has the support of education union NZEI Te Riu Roa.

The report by the Māori Futures Collective, ‘Ending Streaming in Aotearoa’, outlines the damaging impacts of the practice, and cites evidence that shows it leads to poorer educational outcomes for Māori and Pasifika students.

“Our position as a union, and the Government’s own policy, is that schools should not be streaming”, says NZEI Te Riu Roa Matua Takawaenga Laures Park. “We know streaming is an outdated practice, and this report clearly shows the damage it has on our tamariki – both psychologically and in terms of their educational success.”

“Moving to more modern, collaborative ways of teaching and learning is a key way we can improve outcomes for our tamariki – and in doing so address the social and economic inequities we face as a country.”

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Liam Rutherford says it’s important that schools are supported in the changes they need to make to their practice. 

“We know schools are eager to change their practice to ensure learning environments are culturally responsive, and meet the needs of all tamariki. For many, ending streaming will be a big change – for it to happen quickly, which is needed, our schools will need support and adequate resources.

“Moving forward, we at NZEI Te Riu Roa will be working with other likeminded groups to advocate for schools having the necessary support to make changes.

“What’s exciting is that there are schools out there that are already innovating and showing how the move toward a fairer system could look – some of which are shown in this new report. These are schools we can look to to lead the way forward.”