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Year 10 students have been trialling new high-stakes literacy and numeracy tests in schools this week.
Schools in Northland and Auckland are tackling truancy by hiring people to knock on doors and talk directly with families.
Figures show teachers have claimed more than 183,000 sick days so far this year, nearly twice as many as at the same time in 2019 - at some schools it is breaking the bank.
Teachers were starting to leave their jobs to go overseas but the traditional supply of foreign teachers had not yet resumed, principals told RNZ.
An independent review shows efforts to recruit thousands of teachers have cost an average of nearly $10,000 per teacher.
Some schools are rostering particular year levels home or asking families to keep children away because they don't have enough teachers on site.
Principals and teachers warn they are seeing worse behaviour and achievement after two-and-a-half-years of pandemic disruption.
Teachers who contacted RNZ to comment on a story about high rates of Covid-19 infection among school staff said too many students were not wearing face masks. Audio
Schools notified the Education Ministry of about 1000 cases among teaching staff in each of the past two weeks.
Some primary school principals want a return to compulsory face mask-wearing as they head into the colder months.
Big changes to funding for tertiary certificates and diplomas are being labelled unfair and short-sighted.
A report shows independent reviewers had serious doubts about the future of the new national polytechnic and workplace training provider, Te Pūkenga.
The government's Budget rings a multi-million-dollar death-knell for the much-maligned school decile system.
Education agents say this country's handling of the pandemic was not the drawcard the government expected and changes to post-study work rights would hit the Indian market hard.
The spike in polytechnic enrolments seen last year has collapsed, leaving the institutes with about the same number of enrolments as in 2020.
It's time to rebuild the devastated foreign student industry, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins says - but it needs to diversify too.
Some schools are fed up with the decile system that allocates more than $150 million per year based on enrolments of children from poor neighbourhoods.
New Zealand's participation in the OECD's PISA tests of maths, reading, and science is at risk.
Principals said one in five students were absent last term, and fear if they don't return this month schools will lose funding and staff.
The Teaching Council received reports that 225 teachers were dismissed for refusing to comply with the vaccine mandate.
Schools say Covid-19 case numbers will influence their approach to wearing face masks this term.
NCEA excellence endorsement rates increased to record levels in Auckland, Waikato and Northland last year.
Some teens could fail compulsory qualification standards for not knowing how to use capital letters or full stops, and not knowing how many minutes in an hour.
Hundreds, and possibly thousands of new teachers have been under-paid since the start of the year. Audio
As the first school term of the third year of the pandemic draws to a close the Education Minister Chris Hipkins reckons things are about to get better.