The head of the Education Ministry says she plans to move the ministry from administering the system to leading it.
Lesley Longstone became the Secretary for Education in November last year and told the Education and Science Select Committee at Parliament on Wednesday she found a ministry that had committed staff, but was less than totally clear about its role.
Mrs Longstone says the education reforms of 1989 created a view that the ministry should only administer the education system.
Instead, it should be leading the system to help raise student achievement.
Mrs Longstone says that means helping to spread good practice between teachers and intervening more quickly when organisations show signs of failure.