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Amended November 2012

Student Management Systems (SMS) include software that schools use for registration, enrolment, ministry returns, attendance tracking, lesson planning, health and pastoral, incidents and events, calendar, extra-curricular, awards and achievements, recording marks, trends analysis, management and parent reporting, parent portal, staff details, and NCEA entries and returns.

Current market situation

Ministry offer to schools without an SMS

The Ministry is currently offering schools without an SMS:

  1. assistance to choose a web-hosted student management system from the three (web-hosted) systems used in New Zealand schools
  2. funding for the cost of set-up, implementation and training
  3. funding for the hosting and support of the SMS until June 2015.

National Standards

All SMS vendors have made improvements to their software to enable schools to more easily report in relation to National Standards. This includes providing for plain language reporting and improving the ways information is gathered, stored, and analysed.

In 2013, the Ministry is assisting schools to make better use of the data their SMS holds, and is working with SMS vendors and schools to develop a standard list of analysis reports (and associated training modules in their use) that will provide schools with a rich interpretation of trends and patterns in their data. This is to enable schools to improve their planning and be able to focus on the resources required to address any perceived weaknesses in student performance. These reports will include analysis at the individual teacher level as well as management and board.

Reporting to parents

Schools are required to report to parents and caregivers at least twice per year in plain language and in writing. Schools can use any phrases and terms in reports to parents and students, and are not required to use above, at, below, and well below the standards.

When schools develop their own reporting approaches they are better able to:

  • share their own vision and strategy for raising student achievement
  • meet the diverse reporting needs of parents and whānau.

Most schools use their SMS to capture achievement data and the majority then produce parent/caregiver reports using the stored information and standard reporting templates in the SMS. Some schools have also commissioned their own tailored SMS-based reports directly from the SMS vendor. Alternative approaches include adapting current school reports or using ideas that are provided on Assessment Online.

Student record transfer (SRT)

Since 2010, schools using eTAP, KAMAR, or PCSchool have been able to use student record transfer. SRT is an electronic transfer of student data between schools. The data includes the student's name, data of birth, gender, and national student number, demographics (for example ethnicity, year level, etc), caregiver details, medical professionals, dental professionals, summary attendance information, and assessment data.

Approximately 80,000 students transfer schools at the end of each year and 40,000 or so during the year. In most cases the schools receiving the students re-key data that already exists on the previous schools’ databases. This facility reduces the administrative tasks that schools face when students transfer from one school to another, provides information in a timely manner, and makes more data available than is collected via enrolment forms.

The SRT system involves temporary storage of encrypted student data on a Ministry server. The actual transfer and retrieving of any student data can only be carried out by the source and destination schools with the Ministry acting as a type of Post Office.

Assembly is currently developing the SRT functionality and MUSAC is expected to make it available next year. The following link shows a two minute animation of the SRT process.

PaCT tool 

Updated on: 27 Mar 2013