Public Achievement Information research

Project

Evaluation Associates was commissioned in 2013 and 2014 to carry out research into the first two years of the Public Achievement Initiative (PAI). The long term outcomes sought from the PAI are for parents, families and whānau to have:

      • high and accurate expectations about their children’s education
      • an understanding of how they can support their children’s learning
      • an understanding of how the education system works.

The two phases of this research, conducted by our consultant, Adrienne Carlisle, sought to understand the extent to which currently available information was meeting the PAI goal.

Process

The first phase of the research involved interviews with focus groups of parents and whānau in a wide range of primary schools across the North Island. It addressed the following research questions:

The second phase of the research built on that work. It focused more directly on schools in the lower decile range, both primary and secondary, and focus groups were run with school leaders as well as groups of parents and whānau. The research addressed a wider range of questions.

Impact

Reports for both phases of the research were written for the Ministry of Education, highlighting key findings and giving recommendations based on the findings. A summary document was produced in September 2014.

A clear finding from both phases of the research was that trusting relationships and clear, ongoing communication are vital ingredients of each child’s ongoing learning and success, between stakeholders at every level. This includes relationships between students and teachers, teachers and school leaders, schools and parents and whānau and, by extension, schools and the Ministry of Education.

A subsequent project was launched, following a recommendation from this project, to exemplify and clarify for schools how to report to parents clearly and effectively.